Conor McGregor sent the person who plays Burnie, the mascot for the NBA's Miami Heat, to the hospital on Friday, June 9 after an on-court stunt apparently went awry.
Footage of McGregor swinging at Burnie, the 7’6 NBA mascot with orange fur and a basketball nose, circulated widely on social media, though the Irish UFC star has yet to publicly comment on it.
In the clips, McGregor can be seen squaring up with Burnie during a time-out of game four of the 2023 NBA Finals between the Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat on Friday night as part of a promotion for his brand TIDL Sport's pain-relief spray.
Burnie hit the floor after McGregor swung at him, prompting the announcer to shout "oh, mercy!" McGregor then took another pop at Burnie as the mascot was splayed out on the court.
As assistants came to drag Burnie away, McGregor attempted to spray him with the pain-relief spray as the crowd began to boo.
According to The Athletic, an NBA source briefed on the matter said the person in the Burnie costume was "doing well" after being given pain medication at a local emergency room.
McGregor, The Athletic noted, stayed for the rest of the game and was seen leaving Miami's Kaseya Center with his entourage afterward.
On Sunday, June 11, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was asked what it says that the team's mascot could take a punch from McGregor, bounce back, and be ready to perform for the next home game.
"That's Miami Heat toughness that we're talking about," Spoelstra said drawing laughs.
"He should have been allowed to, ya know, take the first swing.
"We won't reveal who [Burnie] is, but he's tough. He can take a punch and get back up. Yeah, he's not going to miss any time."
"That's the Miami Heat toughness that we're talking about. ... He's not going to miss any time."
Erik Spoelstra praises the Heat's mascot for taking a punch from Conor McGregor 😂 pic.twitter.com/BH7oVcvsN9— The Sporting News (@sportingnews) June 11, 2023
The Miami Heat will take on the Denver Nuggets again tonight, June 12, for game five of the 2023 NBA Finals. No word if McGregor will be in attendance.