Posted on: November 22, 2011 11:45 am
Edited on: November 22, 2011 11:47 am

Sixers ditch rabbit mascot, hire Henson Studios

By Matt Moore 

Well, the NBA season's dead, might as well kill the mascots, too. 

The Philadelphia News reports that after conferring with fans, Hip-Hop, the Sixers' bunny mascot with acrobatic style, has been ditched, nevermore to dunk off a trampoline again. From the Philly News:  
After receiving hundreds of communications from fans, nearly all of them advocating the end of a symbol of a different era, the teams new ownership will announce today that the never-beloved mascot has been put out to pasture, literally.

To spare the sensibilities of the one or two children who werent scared to death by the rabbit, the team will say that Hip Hop fell in love, married and moved away to start a family. Apparently, it either was that or announce that they were going to boil him in a pot on a really big stove in a remake of "Fatal Attraction."
via Sixers 86 their Hip Hop mascot | Philadelphia Daily News | 11/22/2011.

That's a funny little fake anecdote in a news story, right? No. Seriously. That's actually what the team released today.  There's been some suggestions that the Sixers should return to Big Shot

But wait, there's more to this breaking story! The Sixers have hired the Jim Henson Creature Shop to dream them up a new costume for someone to run around and shoot t-shirts into empty seats. (Obligatory crack about Sixers attendance: check.)
As a result, the Sixers have hired the world famous Jim Henson Creature Shop™ and Raymond Entertainment Group to recruit a new team mascot.

“We have proclaimed quite loudly in Philadelphia that we will listen to Sixers fans,” Aron said. “In the 6,500 fan comments and suggestions we received so far at NewSixersOwner.com, there was a tidal wave of commentary suggesting the Sixers needed a new mascot. We have hired an incredibly talented duo in Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and the Raymond Entertainment Group to help us develop a new mascot for the 76ers.”

The process has already begun, with Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™ and Raymond Entertainment Group working in conjunction with the Sixers to find a new official team mascot.
via SIXERS: Sixers retain Jim Henson's Creature Shop & Raymond Entertainment Group to find new mascot - 11/22/2011.

"It's not easy being green seven games under .500 every year because we refuse to trade Andre Iguodala." (Obligatory Muppets joke: check.)

 Here's my question. They polled Philadelphia fans and axed the mascot because the comments were angry and cruel. Isn't that pretty much Philadelphia's reaction to everything? (Obligatory crack about Philly fans: check.)

Also, here's one. Do they have to fire the old guy? What if the new suit doesn't fit his frame? What if the old mascot was a woman and the new costume is too heavy? What if it was a big muscled guy and the new one is smaller? These are the things that keep me up at night during a lockout.

(Photo by Getty Images. Illustration by EOB. Obviously.)
Posted on: January 27, 2011 9:37 am

Shootaround 1.27.11: Zipcodes

Hornets' fans plight, Chandler does not wish NY flight, the Cavs have no fight, and a Sixers mascot sight. All this and more in today's Shootaround. 
Posted by Matt Moore

An interesting question, to be taken only in the abstract. Is it fair for the fans in New Orleans to have to check attendance figures every two years and put together the kind of effort needed to meet the mark to avoid the escape clause?  A writer at Yahoo! points out that it will simply take more time for the city to embrace the Hornets in the same way they have the Saints, who have been there for about 30 years longer. These things take time. Regardless of whether it's fair or not, that's the situation the Hornets will continue to face until a new ownership system is place that is committed to the area long-term and the economy starts to pick up. 

Attempting to appreciate Stan Van Gundy. The fact that SVG gets so much flak considering his pretty incredible record of success is stunning.

Well played on that photo, Orlando Sentinel.

Danny Granger at the deadline could be a huge playoff difference maker if someone can get him from a continually reeling Pacers club. 

Why are the Cavs this bad? Some interesting questions on team building and the cost of not drafting well, regardless of contender status. 

Folks in Seattle still say it is a basketball town

Via the 700 Level, here's an image of the Sixers mascot bowling... himself. 

Kahn is "absolutely sure" Rubio is joining the Wolves, eventually.  Kahn being right will vindicate him to an enormous degree and buy him considerable time in his gig. Being wrong would be catastrophic. At the end of it, I still wonder about committing so much to a guy who doesn't "actively" want to be there.  More on this later. 

Wilson Chandler may have switched agents to Happy Walters, who is an interesting man, and who also represents Amar'e Stoudemire, to avoid being traded

Rodney Stuckey "felt something pop" last night, which can't be good. 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com