Being Grizz one fur the ages
TREVOR JONES: SPORTS REPORTER NBA mascot was often more fun to watch than awful team
Trevor Jones works as a stunt man. He probably deserved danger pay more for trying to get fans excited about the Vancouver Grizzlies.
Jones, who keeps busy in Vancouver’s film industry now, was the original Grizz — the hairy, high-flying mascot of Vancouver’s sad-sack NBA franchise.
He won the job in a tryout at Terry Fox Secondary in Port Coquitlam just before the 1995-96 campaign and worked the NBA team’s first two seasons.
Those campaigns were bland enough that people actually kept track of Jones’ showcase, trampoline-aided dunks during play stoppages. Yes, The Province reported Jones was 65-for-86 in 1996-97.
“I really miss the excitement of live entertainment,” says Jones, a Toronto native. “Being a part of game entertainment, excited fans and pro sports sends a chill down my spine … especially being the centre of attention while remaining anonymous.”
A fallout with Grizzlies brass led to the team slam-dunking him just before the ’97-’98 season. The divorced father of three opted to remain in Vancouver to be close to his kids.
He had a stint as the Vancouver Ravens mascot and says that if a National Lacrosse League team returns he’d like to work for them again.
His schedule appears full. Jones’ resume lists his stunt work in over two-dozen feature films, including the Scary Movie and X-Men series.
TV work includes Battlestar Galactica, Andromeda and Smallville.
For training he cites, among others, scene study classes, rappelling, scuba diving, horseback riding, stunt driving and BMX halfpipe.
And, yes, there’s his time in the bear suit there, too.
“One particular event that still excites me occurred when I performed as the NBA mascot in the Toyko Dome back in ’96,” says Jones of his favourite moment as Grizz.
“It was the first regular-season game played outside North America with the Nets and Magic. I’ve seen GM Place rocking with 20,000 fans on their feet, but at this event I remember performing and doing my thing and the response from the crowd was electrifying.
“Forty-thousand fans, totally focused on the Grizz. I started clapping my hands and I believe all 40,000 were clapping back to my beat. Unbelievable energy.
“One more memory: 7 a.m. and the mascots all have to perform our dunks at the ’97 all-star game in Cleveland. We have one dunk, and one dunk only. The stands are packed with kids and lighting is dim. I put the Raptor mascot behind my mini-tramp, holding a ball over his head. Then I hyped up the crowd and did a front flip dunk while grabbing the ball out of his hands and nailed it. Everyone went wild.
“Later that evening, on George Michael’s Sports Machine, he showed Kobe’s under-the-leg dunk, then he said that his dunk was not the best of the weekend, and showed my clip — saying Super Grizz had the best dunk of the weekend. An instant smile on my face.”