Bulls mascot and fan favorite Benny the Bull will have to miss out on entertaining the fans during home playoff games. Benny is set to undergo surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff, suffered from abuse to his shoulder after repeated half court shot attempts. Assuming Derrick Rose is healthy for the playoffs, back up guard John Lucas III is set to fill in as Benny.

“We made the decision based on our depth at point-guard and the recent popularity of John Lucas,” said Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf. “He’s able to connect with all demographics in our fan base and we feel that will give fans an extra incentive to purchase playoff tickets and ensure sell-outs.”

Lucas is a fan of the idea.

“Who else can say they scored over 60 at Rucker Park, play on the best team in the NBA and have the opportunity to be their mascot?” asked Lucas. “It’s a chance only a fool would pass up on. I might be second only to Derrick in popularity after this season for what I’m doing.”

If Rose isn’t healthy come playoff time and Lucas’s services are needed on the court, the role of Benny will likely be delegated to either Brian Scalabrine or Jimmy Butler.

John Jenzeh