Man who plays Chicago Bulls mascot 'Benny the Bull' leaving

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In what is likely one of the first changes for the NBA offseason, Benny the Bull, the Chicago Bulls mascot is retiring June 30.

Well, the fuzzy, comical character will still be around in some form, but Barry Anderson, the man beneath the horns for the last 12 years is leaving.

"After 12 incredible years, it's come time for me to explore this world, this life, without my fuzzy red friend," Anderson wrote on Facebook Friday, according to the Chicago Tribune. "In what's been an impossibly difficult choice to make, I've decided that June 30th will be my final day at the Chicago Bulls, where my heart will forever live."

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As Benny the Bull, Anderson earned a NBA mascot of the year honors in 2015. The Bulls offered Anderson a contract, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Anderson replaced Dan LeMonnier as the mascot in 2004 when the style of the costume also changed.

The team said the mascot will return in some form.