Context: Planet Of The Apes is quite possibly my favorite sci-fi film ever made. Socially-conscious and remarkable in its enigmatic visual style for its 1968 release, it was in EVERY sense of the word, an "epic" production.
Ok great, we're done here, yeah... let's connect us some dots, shall we?
In 1980, a messenger for Eastern Onion named Henry Rojas, a singing telegram service, came to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, AZ during a Suns home game dressed as a gorilla. As he left, Coliseum security suggested he do a few dances underneath the basket during a timeout and the fans loved it. So did the messenger, who kept coming to games until he was officially invited to be part of the team. Rojas hung up his suit in 1988, but his legacy and the character has continued for literally decades.
Although not an "official mascot", in 2005, the Suns Gorilla was inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame. Admittedly, I'm not entirely sure if one can visit this most sanctified bastion of sports insanity, but I would definitely take an afternoon and give that a whirl. The Phoenix Gorilla is an institution.