A team source tells Don Walker of the Journal Sentinel that Kevin Vanderkolk, y'know, the human that operates inside the Bango costume, is stepping away after this season. Vanderkolk had been inside the suit for quite some time, and with five kids and a laundry list of injuries, it was decided that this season would be his last.
Bango won Mascot of the Year back in 2010 when the Fear The Deer campaign was in full force. Perhaps his greatest stunt to date happened that year, when he did a backflip off a 20 foot ladder and somehow managed to have the wherewithal to also complete the dunk.
Besides being quite arguably the best in-game mascot in the NBA, Bango also started to stretch himself out to other mediums this past year, taking part in the Hulu series "Behind the Mask," which chronicled the lives of several mascots at different levels of different sports. Bango also took to Reddit in December to do an AMA (ask me anything), and absolutely crushed it. That's not surprising, really; Bango seemed to do an excellent job in every performance, be it on or off the court.
As sad as this moment may be for you, there is a silver lining. YOU could be the next Bango! Don't believe me, take a look at this:
Do you have what it takes to be Bango??? http://t.co/w3D1lXKtNS— Nick Monroe (@nmonroe) March 19, 2014
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bummed out by this, so it's only appropriate to end this post with a song. Godspeed, old (and new) Bango.