Reporting Angelo Cataldi and The Morning Team
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By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Chris Morris doesn’t want to be a big shot, he wants to be the Big Shot.
Morris, a local comedian and former mascot himself (La Salle Explorer), is campaigning to bring back the big, blue, mascot who was retired by the Sixers in 1996. The team’s new ownership has been searching for a new one since retiring the Hip-Hop character prior to this season. After asking fans to vote on three options in an internet poll, they announced they had not made a decision, and may not until next year.
Morris was a guest of Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes on the WIP Morning Show on Wednesday to talk about his mission. He thinks the answer isn’t one of the the choices the Sixers gave, a moose, a dog, or Ben Franklin, but the mascot he grew up loving. “When I was a kid, all the neighborhood kids wanted to play basketball. The guy with the afro was Dr. J, the bald guy was Charles Barkley, I was Big Shot,” he said. “That really made my parents proud, by the way. ‘Who’s your kid?’ ‘Oh, he’s the one painted blue.’” The big, blue, alien-like creature won Morris over at an early age. “When I had hernia surgery as a kid, he came to my house. And ever since then, I loved Big Shot.”
Listen to the entire interview with Chris Morris:
Ownership has made it a point to embrace the franchise’s history, most recently purchasing the court that Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points on (read related story).
There’s basketball in Morris’ blood, his father is legendary coach Speedy Morris. Chris joked that Dad wasn’t immediately supportive. “He almost kicked me out at age eight. It wasn’t good.” His father just made some history himself, winning his 900th game as a Philadelphia basketball coach(read related story).
The team is certainly aware of Chris’ desire, and the internet groundswell to bring back Big Shot as team owner and CEO Adam Aron asked fans if they would be in favor of a return of the old mascot via his Twitter account. “I never expected him to ever talk about it. I never expected it to get that big,” Morris said.
Though people are talking, Morris says the Sixers have not reached out to him yet, and he’s not sure how to get them to. “I don’t know, I have no idea, that’s the problem. We’re hoping to get the Sixers interview and make myself blue again.”
You can support Chris Morris movement to bring back Big Shot on his Facebook page.