Hip-Hop, the Sixers’ bizarrely muscled, buck-toothed mascot, went on to greener pastures yesterday. He was 14.
The gray rabbit, which debuted back in January 1997, never quite endeared himself to Philadelphia sports fans the way the Phillie Phanatic has, despite his high-flying slam dunks and tiny head. He will be remembered for his sunglasses and colorful bandannas.
“We have proclaimed quite loudly in Philadelphia that we will listen to Sixers fans,” said new CEO and co-owner Adam Aron. “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.”
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The new ownership group has hired Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and original Phanatic Dave Raymond to come up with a replacement. No timetable has been set for a new mascot, but with the NBA lockout threatening the season, the team may not get a new face until next summer.