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Basketball Mascot Hospitalized

Cleveland's 'Moondog' is rushed to hospital after errant punch by Indiana player.

Over the past two seasons, the Cleveland Cavaliers have had to suffer through quite a number of injuries and bad luck. They lost LeBron James to free agency and lost more games the past two seasons than they have in nearly a decade. Last night, before a lost to the Indiana Pacers, disaster hit them again in the form of their mascot getting knocked out and having to be sent to the hospital.

That's right, the Cavaliers mascot, named 'Moondog', received a punch from Indiana's David West before the game that knocked him flat, even if the opposing team thought he was just goofing around.

"For real?" Indiana's Roy Hibbert said. "We thought he (Moondog) was just playing when it happened. Oh man, that's crazy. I can't believe it happened. I've never heard anything like that in the NBA."

The vicious, if unintentional, attack came during pre-game introductions. During that time, Indiana's David West got into a mock fight with Moondog and unintentionally clocked him a good one, sending him sprawling to the court and eventually to the hospital to be checked out. When told that he actually injured the man inside Moondog, West was shocked and apologetic.

"I feel terrible about that, I really do," said West, who was visibly upset. "We were just having fun. We were just messing around. I really hope he's OK. Make sure he knows I'm sorry."

For Moondogs part, he was cleared at the hospital and suffered no worse than a black eye and a slight blow to his dignity.

And for the record, Moondog repeatedly gets into it with the opposing teams during pre-game warm-ups and timeouts. This time, however, the other team was the winner.

James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.

Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS