ATLANTA (AP) - The Atlanta Hawks' real-life mascot has been grounded.
"Spirit," the hawk who delayed the team's playoff loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday night by flying around Philips Arena instead of returning to his handler, won't take flight when the playoff series returns to Atlanta next week.
The Hawks said Thursday night the mascot will "be involved in our game night activities" but team spokesman Arthur Triche said the bird will no longer be allowed to fly around the arena.
Players watched as the bird was perched atop the scoreboard at tip-off, refusing to go to his handler. The bird then swooped around the arena, finally causing play to be halted until he returned to his handler.
Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 24, 2009