"Clutch" on Halloween 2005

Clutch the Rockets Bear is the popular Mascot for the NBA's Houston Rockets.

The informal nickname "Clutch City" was given to Houston, Texas, the year the Rockets won the NBA championship after an unspectacular regular season in 1994-95. The moniker was adopted in response to a front-page headline in the Houston Chronicle declaring Houston to be "Choke City" after blowing a 20-point lead earlier in that postseason. The Rockets' bear, appropriately named "Clutch," was introduced on 1995.

Clutch was named the 5th-most recognizable mascot in sports by USA Today in February 2005, and was inducted into the Mascot in 2006. He also became the 2005 NBA Mascot of the Year.

He received even more attention in an Internet meme that involved a man being shot down during a halftime marriage proposal at a Rockets game in 2008. After the woman said "no" and stormed off the court, Clutch consoled him and walked him off, grabbing somebody's Beer on the way out and giving it to the man. Some have questioned whether or not the incident was actually staged.