‘Fear the ears’: ‘Air Corgi’ picks Denver Nuggets to win it all

The Miami Heat aren’t the only underdog to take over the NBA playoffs.

Lilo Ku, an 8-year-old corgi, has taken the internet by storm with her viral playoff predictions.

Nicknamed Air Corgi, Steph Furry and Fluffy Mamba, she has made waves for her ability to shoot an inflatable basketball into buckets that represent playoff matchups.

For her owner/coach Denny Ku, Lilo’s athletic — and sometimes prophetic — tendencies are just a small part of what makes her resonate in their family and on the web.

“I think one of the best things and something that I’ve kind of really related to is this underdog story of Lilo. If you imagine the stereotypical dog playing basketball, you’d probably imagine a golden retriever. And it’s actually quite the opposite, you know, it’s just this little corgi with stubby legs, no tail — undersized in all the ways possible,” Ku told ESPN. “And she’s out here just making the most breathtaking buckets. And I think for me, as an Asian American and also being a minority in sports as well, I just really connect with her in that way.”

According to Ku, it’s a skill she picked up during the pandemic that took about 25 minutes to perfect.

“My wife had a birthday party and there were a bunch of balloons everywhere, and Lilo was just fascinated just hitting them up in the air,” Ku said . “One of the balloons actually fell into this basket, and then we all thought, ‘It would be crazy if we could teach her to do this on command and teach her how to play basketball.'”

Even crazier: Ku estimates that her picks have been accurate roughly 70% of the time throughout the NBA and Stanley Cup playoffs.

“She gets the teams right, but when it comes to the number of games, that’s a little bit more on and off.”

Lilo accurately picked the Denver Nuggets to advance to the NBA Finals, and, although she chose the Boston Celtics over Miami, she did predict that the winner of the Eastern Conference finals would be decided in Game 7.

As far as the next owner of the Larry O’Brien Trophy is concerned, she has Denver winning it all in six games.

According to her website, the dog’s prediction videos have tallied 850,012,196 views across Instagram and TikTok. Her most popular video this postseason racked up 9.5 million views on TikTok during the second-round series between the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors.

“I’m from Houston, so it’s really hard to be a Rockets fan right now, but just been a lot of fun being able to immerse myself into these different fan bases and become a fan of the teams that Lilo chooses, really rooting hard for her to get the predictions right and it’s been a lot of crazy ride overall,” Ku said.

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