Seeing as how there is no actual basketball to talk about during the NBA lockout, this qualifies as big Sixers news. After receiving hundreds of communications from fans, nearly all of them advocating the end of a symbol of a different era, the team’s 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 weren’t 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.”

A decade ago, with Allen Iverson as the face of the franchise and Pat Croce rappelling the Walt Whitman Bridge as the out-there owner, Hip Hop arrived as a replacement for another mascot, Big Shot (whose demise wasn’t exactly mourned, either, if memory serves).

– Reported by Rich Hofmann of theĀ Philadelphia Inquirer

InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner says: No word on if mascot Hip Hop will now cross over and become R&B.