Thunder officials plan to debut the new mascot soon after the NBA All-Star break, most likely at halftime Feb. 17 against New Orleans or at halftime Feb. 24 against the Lakers.
Team officials have chosen the yet-to-be-announced character and have completed the costume design but still have to iron out minor details, such as NBA marketing. According to Brian Byrnes, vice president of ticket sales and services, the mascot will be athletic, similar to Benny the Bull in Chicago and the Gorilla in Phoenix. The mascot will be capable of dropping from the Ford Center ceiling, tightrope a rail in Loud City and trampoline with the dunk team. Thunder officials were diligent in choosing the mascot, because it will represent the organization year-round, including appearances at schools, athletic events and ribbon cuttings. BY MIKE BALDWIN