Nobody expects Inflatable Bucks Mascot Bango … least of all, Dwight Howard (Video)

What's the only thing better than a mascot pulling a prank on a player? An inflatable version of said mascot pulling a prank on a player.

Prior to Thursday night's game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks, Lakers center Dwight Howard entered the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Wisconsin, walking past what he thought was a statue of Bango, the Bucks' beloved mascot. BUT THIS WAS NO STATUE, MY FRIENDS:

Sure, this is all goofy fun, but don't act like you wouldn't have freaked out at least as much as Howard did if a massive anthropomorphic deer just started violently shaking its way toward you. Entire Internet memes are based on suboptimal fear responses to surprising stimuli; in this way, to some degree, we are all Dwight Howard.

Clearly haunted by the incident, Howard went on to produce a less-than-stellar game — 15 points on 6 for 8 shooting is nice, as is 15 rebounds, but he couldn't balance the responsibility of covering for L.A.'s already awful perimeter defense (made worse by the injury-spurred absence of Metta World Peace) with locking down interior opponent Larry Sanders, who had a career night (21 points on 8 for 11 shooting and 13 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass). Howard was far from the only reason the Lakers dropped a 113-103 decision to the Bucks — the flare-up of Steve Nash's hip injury hurt, as did poor shooting nights from floor-spacers Jodie Meeks and Steve Blake — but he was one of them.

So, y'know, job well done, Bango. And sorry about that, Dwight. Look on the bright side, though — at least you weren't wearing an Al Horford jersey.

And now, in conclusion, let's watch about 90 seconds of Inflatable Bango Dancing.

If the clip above isn't rocking for you, you can check out the inflatable shenanigans elsewhere, thanks to our friends at the NBA. Inflatable Bango Dancing video via Tom Callahan, who, as legend has it, only needed seven years to graduate from Marquette.

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