HOBART, Australia (AP) — Former NBA center Andrew Bogut was left amused on Thursday when the newest franchise in the National Basketball League announced its nickname.
The team will be known as the Tasmania Jack Jumpers, named after a species of venomous ants mostly found on the Australian island state.
“Joking yeah? Good one. Got me good,” former NBA No. 1 draft pick Bogut said in reply to a tweet from another former Australian NBA player, Chris Anstey.
“The NBL takes a great step back into Tasmania, then calls them the Jack Jumpers? My goodness,” Anstey wrote on Twitter.
A team official had a different opinion of jack jumpers, which are known for their unique ability to jump. Their bite has in rare instances proven fatal.
“The Jack Jumpers logo covers all corners of the state and embodies Tasmania’s challenger spirit and passion,” team chief executive Simon Brookhouse said. “Our green and gold colors pay homage to Tasmania’s rich history and landscape.”
The team also produced a rather impressive animated video which promised the team would “strike fear with their venomous attack,” showed the team’s mascot in front of the Eiffel Tower and Times Square in New York City and ended with apparent armies of jumping ants crawling all over a map of Tasmania.
The Jack Jumpers will enter the league as the 10th team for the 2021-22 season and play mostly out of Hobart’s Derwent Entertainment Centre. The state has not had a team in the national competition since the Hobart Devils folded in 1996.