After an eventful promotional stunt on Friday night, Miami Heat mascot Burnie is set to make an appearance in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, following reports of a trip to the emergency room due to a punch from MMA fighter Conor McGregor.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra expressed his amusement, stating, “That’s the Miami Heat toughness we’re talking about. He should have been allowed to take the first swing.” Spoelstra affirmed that Burnie, whose identity is kept secret, can withstand a punch and will not miss any game time.
During the third quarter of Friday night’s Game 4, while promoting a pain relief spray, Burnie found himself in the ring with McGregor. Wearing fake boxing gloves, Burnie engaged in a face-off with McGregor, who swiftly knocked him out with a left hook. McGregor then delivered another blow to Burnie’s head before spraying him with the pain relief spray.
Heat staff eventually removed Burnie from the court, and he was taken briefly to the emergency room for treatment and pain medication. The severity of the injuries sustained by the performer playing Burnie remains undisclosed.
Although the incident was part of a promotional stunt, McGregor’s actions have been criticized for going too far. Possible consequences for McGregor are yet to be determined.
Notably, McGregor has not competed since 2021 due to a tibia injury suffered in a rematch with Dustin Poirier. With only one knockout victory since 2016 and limited UFC appearances, he is currently preparing for a bout against Michael Chandler.
The Nuggets claimed a 108-95 victory over the Heat in Game 4, taking a 3-1 series lead. Game 5 will be hosted by the Nuggets, who have the opportunity to secure their first NBA title. However, if the Heat manages to win, Game 6 will take place on Thursday night in South Florida, where Burnie eagerly awaits his return.
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