While Milwaukee’s 2013-14 season is definitely important for the future of the orgainzation, the on-the-court product has been pretty dreadful. As consistent mediocre to awful seasons has become a staple for the Bucks for the last decade, the continued antics of a fur covered mascot has constantly kept Milwaukee fans entertained despite the less than stellar on-court product.
For the first time in 15 years, Milwaukee’s favorite furry friend, Bango, will be in search for a new man to wear the vaunted antlers.
As reported on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Kevin Vanderkolk, the man behind Bango, will be retiring at the end of the season. While he wasn’t reached for a comment about his impending retirement, Vanderkolk’s reasoning for his decision is clearly understandable.
After being a mysterious man for the majority of his stint as Bango, Vanderkolk was one of the four men who were featured on Hulu’s series, “Behind the Mascot”. In that documentary series, it was clear that the continued injuries were too much for the father of five.
While the torn ACL during the 2009 NBA All-Star game (video below) was one of Vanderkolk’s biggest injuries, the constant ankle and knee injuries continued to take a toll on him during his long stint as Bango.
A year after that horrid injury, Bango was the clear top dog (or deer?) among mascots when he was named NBA’s Mascot of the Year award during the 2010 season. One of the biggest factors behind that award victory was Bango’s 20-foot ladder dunk during the height of the “Fear the Deer” era.
While Vanderkolk is hanging up the antlers at the end of the season, the legacy of Bango must continue. As we speak, the Bucks are currently looking for a new man to wear the legendary antlers. Yes, Milwaukee is currently looking the right man (or buck) to be the next Bango.
In honor of Vanderkolk’s retirement as Bango, here are some more clips of the best mascot in the NBA.