Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra praises mascot Burnie’s ‘toughness’ for taking punches from UFC star Conor McGregor


UFC superstar Conor McGregor took a bit during halftime of Game 4 of the NBA Finals between the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat a little too seriously. The former UFC Featherweight and Lightweight champion blasted Heat mascot Burnie with a pair of punches during a skit in which McGregor was promoting his line of cooling pain relief spray.

As a result of the shots, the man behind the Burnie costume was taken to a nearby emergency room for treatment, according to The Athletic. He was given pain medicine, sent home and is reportedly doing well.

You can see the blows from McGregor below:

The showdown was clearly scripted, as Burnie was sporting a boxing robe and gloves, but McGregor probably packed more power into his punches than was expected. Moving forward, NBA teams will probably think twice before asking McGregor to participate in such skits.

Later in the week, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra jokingly told reporters that Burnie should’ve been allowed to take the first swing. He also said the mascot was tough and would not miss any time.

“That’s the Miami Heat toughness that we’re talking about,” Spoelstra said.

McGregor hasn’t fought in nearly two years after breaking his leg in a Lightweight bout with Dustin Poirier, so perhaps he had some extra steam to blow off. McGregor is supposed to fight Michael Chandler in the octagon later this year, but an official date for the bout hasn’t been set yet.

The Nuggets went on to pull out a 108-95 victory over the Heat in the game, and they now hold a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. They’ll look to close out the series and secure the first championship in franchise history in Game 5 on Monday night.

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