One of the forgotten stories of the NBA revolves around the Golden State Warriors and their now long gone mascot, Thunder. Thunder hasn’t roamed the NBA sidelines since 2008 as this was when the OKC Thunder came into existence, forcing the Warriors to ground their Thunder due to the name similarity. The cruel twist of fate is that the Thunder got a mascot, the bombastic bison Rumble, and the Warriors have been mascot-less ever since.
The Warriors are currently playing preseason games in China and quite amazingly they actually ran into their old mascot, as Thunder appears to be living the dream in the Far East:
A nice little story by the Warriors to appease all of the Thunder the mascot fans but in an interesting 2011 Peninsula Press article about Thunder, Joe Ciolli interviewed game entertainment consultant Pat Walker who had the following to say about the reality of Thunder’s end:
“The mascot was one of a handful in the league that was a human character, versus a furry, lovable one,” said Walker. “While he had a large skill set with some of the acrobatics that he would do on the court and in the crowd, I think the character itself may have been limited on what it could do from a humor standpoint, which is a large part of being a mascot.”
Walker also pointed out the Warriors’ decision to revert back to its old-school logo and colors. The emblem and uniforms prior to the 2008 season actually carried Thunder’s likeness, and until this season the same color scheme had been used. In Walker’s opinion, the team had already planned this change when it decided to leave Thunder’s position vacant.
“I don’t necessarily think the mascot didn’t work for the market, I just think they had a character they didn’t feel was the best fit for the organization,” Walker said. “And the timing was probably good with the Oklahoma City Thunder adopting another name. From a PR standpoint, I think it was good timing.”
Ciolli delves deep into the disappearance of Thunder and finds out that Thunder was actually Sadiki Fuller who is now a stand up comic. Doing some simple research, it appears that Fuller is still performing stand-up as this is his bio on the Laugh Factory’s website:
Sadiki Fuller’s story is that of a young man who quit a $70,000 a year job as a NBA Mascot for the Golden State Warriors in order to purse the craft of stand-up comedy. When asked why, he just simply states “You can not get to home plate if you keep your foot on third.” Originally from Houston, TX, Sadiki honed his comedy Jedi knight skills in the San Francisco Bay Area where he quickly became a club favorite at every venue he performed at. He competed in the 2001 San Francisco Stand-up Comedy Competition where he made it to the Semi-finals and later returned to make the Finals in 2004. He can be seen on Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes on TV ONE and expect to see a lot more from Sadiki in the near future. So continue to keep an eye on this up coming comedian as he continues to develop his personal greatness
Fuller seems to be doing pretty good for himself, although his bio makes its seem like he is regretting giving up all of that #MascotMoney. This does bring up the question who is pretending to be Thunder in China?
Could it actually be Fuller? It does look like Fuller still got some of Thunder’s moves:
Could Fuller be living a dual life? Stand-up comic in LA and Warriors mascot in China?
Hopefully the Warriors will release more information soon to answer these burning questions but in the meantime at least we know that Thunder is living happily in love.