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12th Jun 2023

Basketball coach speaks out after Conor McGregor hospitalises mascot

Charlie Herbert

Conor McGregor knocks out Miami Heat mascot

‘He should have been allowed to take the first swing!’

The coach of the basketball team whose mascot was hospitalised by Conor McGregor last week has given an update on his wellbeing.

McGregor was at Game 4 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the Denver Nuggets Nuggets at Kaseya Center on Friday night to announce that his TIDL Sport body spray is now an official sponsor of the Miami franchise.

After appearing on court to talk about his product, the former two-division UFC champion then took on the Heat mascot ‘Burnie,’ who had gold boxing gloves on and was ready for a set-up bit of sparring with the Irishman.

Poor Burnie probably wasn’t expecting McGregor to hit him as hard as he did though.

‘Notorious’ floored the mascot with a with a vicious left-hook, before landing a punch straight on the mascot’s face from above.

Although the moment was obviously staged and planned, things clearly went a bit too far as Burnie had to be taken to hospital for injuries sustained because of McGregor’s punch.

According to The Athletic, a league source confirmed the man in the costume was taken to the emergency room at a nearby hospital to receive treatment.

After being given pain medication, he was sent home to rest and is said to be “doing well”.

The Heat’s coach, Erik Spoelstra, has since spoken out about the incident, reassuring fans that ‘Burnie’ is ready for their next home game.

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

“He should have been allowed to take the first swing. We won’t reveal who that is, but yeah, he can take a punch and get back up. He’s not going to miss any time.”

Many have called out McGregor for how seriously he seemed to take the stunt, and by the sounds of their reaction, the crowd in the arena were less than impressed with his treatment of Burnie.

McGregor hasn’t fought since he broke his leg in a loss to Dustin Poirier in July 2021, but is due to take on Michael Chandler in his return bout later this year.

Burnie may not be required again this season though. The Heat lost the game on Friday 108-95, leaving them 3-1 down in the best-of-seven series.

So, if the Nuggets get the business down at home tonight, they’ll secure the series and the NBA title.

Perhaps quietly, Burnie is hoping this is the case, so he can have a bit more recuperation time.

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