Rockets' Clutch the Bear wins best mascot title in NBA

Clutch the Rockets Bear wins the 2013 Mascot of the Year award.
August 19, 2013 3:01:53 PM PDT
The Rockets' mascot, Clutch the Bear, is pulling in the accolades. He's been named the Number 1 mascot in the NBA, so we're getting to know the man behind the mask.

He calls himself the Number 1 Rockets fan, and during a game, he can be bit overprotective. So who is the man behind the fun-loving, electric persona of Clutch the Rockets Bear?

Meet Robert Boudwin.

"I'm lucky that our owner, Les Alexander, and our longtime CEO, Tad Brown, had the vision to not only care about not only a great basketball product on the court, but also first-class entertainment in the building," Boudwin said.

Boudwin, who has been with the Rockets for 19 years, graduated from University of Delaware, where he helped create the Blue Hen mascot.

At times, his twin four-year-olds were a bit confused on what to call their dad.

"When they were two and starting to talk, they were calling me 'Daddy' in costume and 'Clutch the Bear' out of costume. It was bizarre," Boudwin said.

He will tell you and show you, Clutch is mischievous, and a bit of an exhibitionist at times, but it's all part of testing boundaries.

"He is also an entertainer and he likes to make people laugh. And he usually does that, by being just a little mischievous and tippy-toeing into the area of don't until he gets shushed back into the area of do," Boudwin said.

His antics have him collecting awards.

"He wears a lot of hats. He can be funny, he can be serious. We can do a lot with him that help us provide our experience for our fans," said Jonathan Kornblith, senior manager of game presentation and events.

Clutch earned Best Live Skit, Best Pre-produced Video Skit Aired During The Game and Best Stunt. He also got the big title, Mascot of the Year for the 2012-2013 season. He beat about 30 other mascots.

The mascot awards began back in 2005 and he won the first award that year and now has been honored a second time, so we here in Houston are lucky to have a two-time champion mascot in Clutch the Rocket Bear.

Find Erik on Facebook at ABC13ErikBarajas or on Twitter at @ErikBarajas13

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