The NBA season is an 82-game slog from October through April - but some don't even make it to opening night.
Take the Toronto Raptors mascot, "The Raptor", who suffered a season-ending injury with three weeks still to go before tip-off.
Just before Toronto's first preseason home match of the season, the Toronto Star newspaper broke the devastating news that The Raptor had torn his Achilles.
Coach Dwane Casey said: "My daughter cried." We feel your pain.
The Raptor is one of the NBA's most exciting mascots, as you can see here...
The 19-year NBA veteran seems to have suffered the same injury as LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant - it remains to be seen whether The Raptor similarly flies out to Germany for treatment.
The report claims it not yet been decided whether the Raptors will sign a replacement for the injured mascot, but it can't be easy to find any old Raptor off the street.
It didn't get much better for Toronto either, as the Raptor-less basketball team went down 101-89 to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
DeMar DeRozan top-scored for Toronto with 17 points.