The man inside the iconic Utah Jazz Bear, Jon Absey, was fired earlier this week, according to a Deseret News source. There will be a Jazz Bear during tonight's home opener but it won't be Absey. Story coming soon.— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) October 19, 2018
The Jazz released a statement on the matter.
“Jazz Bear will continue to be one of the most iconic mascots in the NBA,” said Jazz spokesman Frank Zang. “Out of respect for his character, which is separate from any employee ever associated with it, we have never discussed his identity. We do not discuss individual personnel matters.”
Jon Absey, who’s name was revealed with the firing, had been performing as the Utah Jazz Bear since 1994.
The Jazz Bear has been a staple at Jazz Games and widely considered one of the best mascots in the league earning multiple awards. Though it will be the same costume, it will be interesting to see a new style of Jazz Bear starting this season.