76ers unleash new canine mascot, Franklin

Charles Mostoller

The 12-41 Philadelphia 76ers threw their fans a bone on Tuesday afternoon as the team unleashed its long-awaited new mascot: Franklin, the blue, fluffy dog.

C.J., 9, and Shane, 10, the McCune brothers from West Chester, were members of the mascot’s five-child “chief design team.”

The McCune boys had a connection (their neighbor is the team’s chief marketing officer,) so they played a role in selecting the color of Franklin’s fur.

“It was exciting because we got to be on TV,” C.J. said.

The McCune brothers joined hundreds of local children cloaked in blue “Sixers Strong” shirts to welcome the city’s new favorite canine at the Franklin Institute.

Following a video montage of a blue pooch appearing next to Philadelphia icons such as Rocky Balboa and Dr. J, Franklin arrived 007 style, rappelling from the ceiling into the frenzied crowd.

After break-dancing with the Phillie Phanatic and the Sixers’ cheerleaders, Franklin botched his first slam dunk attempt, but recovered with a successful follow-up.

Franklin’s first game appearance will be on Friday, Feb. 20 when the Sixers face the Indiana Pacers.

The first 5,000 children in attendance will receive a commemorative Franklin jersey.

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