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Utah Jazz Bear, Jon Absey, has been fired

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For the first time since 1994 there will be a different man behind the mask

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

According to Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News the Utah Jazz bear has been fired.

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.