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The Best Part About the NBA Finals Is This Impressive, Gymnastic Halftime Dog Balancing Act


There’s a whole lot of basketball happening right now.

For the fourth year in a row, the Cleveland Cavaliers will face the Golden State Warriors in the NBA finals. Before LeBron James‘ Cavs could make it to Game 1 of the Finals they had to beat out the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, and they had a little help. We are talking tiny dog “little.”

Percy the Chihuahua and his owner Christian Stoinev perform astounding gymnastic balancing acts as halftime entertainment at NBA games across the country as Christian & Scooby — named for the original dog Stoinev performed with, who is now retired.

One of their most recent stops was at Quicken Loans Arena for Game 3 of Eastern Conference Finals. While the Celtics and the Cavaliers took a break from the big ball game, Stoinev and Percy wowed the crowds with their adorable act, which included the little dog weaving between his owner’s legs and balancing on his toes during a handstand.

“Percy is five years old and it is such a treat to perform with him. He loves it, and a lot of the tricks that we’ve developed, like when he walks on a basketball, he actually just gave me the idea by playing around,” Stoniev tells PEOPLE. “Because we wouldn’t be doing this had it not been for Scooby, we still call our act Christian & Scooby, but Percy has now taken over and is quite the little stud.”

If the pair looks familiar from somewhere other than the court, you could recognize them from America’s Got Talent. The duo competed for the star-studded judges panel in Season 2 and 9 of the show. During their Season 9 run, Stoinev and Scooby made it all the way to the Top 12 finalists.

“As far as performing with Scooby, I would say the highlight was our Finals run on America’s Got Talent. Being on such a big stage and having such a wonderful experience was such an amazing ride,” Stoniev said of his favorite moments working with his pups. “With Percy, I would say that a highlight was performing in Cleveland last season at the NBA Finals. I am a big time basketball fan, and that was such an honor and amazing opportunity for us.”

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America is falling in love with these performing partners all over again. Video of their jaw dropping tricks from Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals has already racked up hundreds of thousands of views and shares on Instagram and Facebook. All of the attention is welcomed by Stoinev who loves spreading smile with his canines.

“The unique part about our career is that there is no ultimate goal. Our career could go in so many directions, whether it’s performing on shows in Vegas, or becoming a household name in pop culture, or become known personalities for a TV commercial, TV show, or movie,” he said. “I know that I love being on camera and having people see our talent, so I guess you could say that for now our goal is to continue being seen by people around the world and ultimately hopefully get our opportunity to be on the big screen or be the face or a commercial campaign.”

Keep your paws crossed that Stoinev and Scooby show up at your next basketball game.



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