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The Miami Heat’s signature culture and toughness runs through the entire organization, from the players and coaches all the way down to the team’s mascot Burnie, who took a hard shot from UFC star Conor McGregor Friday night at the Kaseya Center during Game 4 of the NBA Finals.
What was supposed to be a skit between McGregor and Burnie during halftime resulted in some bodily harm as the former champion laid on one of his punches a bit too hard. It eventually sent the man who plays Burnie to a nearby emergency room for treatment.
He was discharged fairly quickly and is reportedly doing well.
During his media session Sunday, coach Erik Spoelstra was asked about the incident and happily praised Burnie’s toughness and ability to take a shot from one of the hardest punchers in all of MMA.
“That’s the Miami Heat toughness that we’re talking about,” Spoelstra said.
Will Manso @WillManso
Erik Spoelstra asked about Burnie the mascot taking a punch from Connor McGregor but being ready for next game:
“That’s the Miami Heat toughness we’re talking about.” 😂 pic.twitter.com/nYlN1BdkB7
Spoelstra also joked that Burnie should have had an opportunity to take the first swing at McGregor instead of it being the other way around. He revealed that the mascot won’t be missing any time the rest of the series.
If Heat fans want to see Burnie in action again this season, their team has a monumental task ahead of them. Down 3-1 in the series to the Denver Nuggets, Miami will need a win in Ball Arena on Monday night to send the series back to Dade County.
From there, Spoelstra and the rest of his squad will be looking to make history and become the become the second team to make a 3-1 comeback in the finals.
Game 5 is set for an 8:30 p.m. ET tipoff on ABC.