It's been over ten years since the Malice at the Palace, but Friday night, Pistons fans were unfortunate enough to be witness to yet another act of brutal on-court violence taking its toll on innocent bystanders: the Brooklyn Nets jumped and proceeded to beat up Hooper, the Detroit Pistons mascot.
As you can see, the anthropomorphic horse was minding his own business during pregame warmups when several members of the Nets jump him, drag him to the ground, and repeatedly pummel, kick, and throw basketballs at the helpless equine. Two members of the Nets go on to drag his near-lifeless body off the court and into the locker room. Hooper returns to spray Andray Blatche with silly string, but that seems like a rather poor act of vengeance after being brutally attacked by five basketball players.
I'm actually genuinely curious whether this was pre-arranged between Hooper and the Nets -- he certainly seems to go along with it -- or whether the Nets just happen to have a understood pact that every time an opposing mascot walks to their side of the floor, they'll pretend to beat the crap out of him.
Detroit rallied around their wounded mascot by beating the Nets 103-99. Reports that Jason Kidd has set aside practice time to beating up faux-mascots (played by the re-reassigned Lawrence Frank) have not been confirmed, but we think you should start spreading them anyway.
(Side note: I have never thought the loose connection between Pistons and horsepower was enough for Detroit's mascot to be a horse. Discuss amongst yourselves.)