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25 Days Till Sixers: Red Panda and the Only Rankings That Matter

When the call came down for our season preview series, we were instructed to make the pieces "short-ish, fun, and shareable" and ensure that they are "tangentially Sixers-related." Here is one of those tangents.

Who is worthy enough to assume the mantle from the great Red Panda?
Who is worthy enough to assume the mantle from the great Red Panda?
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, we learned the unfortunate news that the great Red Panda would no longer be flipping bowls onto her head. Much like Nerlens Noel, the highly-revered halftime performer missed all of 2013-14 with an ACL injury, and during the time off, she decided to hang up her unicycle. With the LeBron James of in-game NBA entertainment riding off into the sunset, now is as good a time as any to release the first-ever Liberty Ballers Halftime Performer Power Rankings.

(Let's keep it real: There will be many nights this season where the halftime act at the Wells Fargo Center is far more enjoyable than the product on the actual court. Unless, of course, Joel Embiid gets the green light to suit up around the All-Star break.)

7) Sixers Drumstix

To this day, this screed by blogger emeritus Michael Levin is the greatest post in Liberty Ballers' history.

6) Rubberboy

To be honest, I find Rubberboy - "The Most Flexible Man", according to Guinness - to be more unnerving than entertaining. There's something about dislocated shoulders that I just can't get down with.

5) Beale Street Flippers

I've never been to Memphis, but I was fortunate enough to catch the Beale Street Flippers in action at a game once. Somersaults and handsprings are impressive in their own right, but a series of 10 of them in a row (at full speed)? Ridiculous.

4) Sandou Trio Russian Bar

If you took a balance beam and a trampoline, mashed them together, and made the whole thing portable, you'd get the Russian Bar.

The Sandou Trio is probably the most accomplished of the Russian Bar acts here in the States - accept no imitations - and if you get a chance to see them in person, they'll make it worth your while. I'm always amazed that no one in the Sandou Trio ever seems to get hurt, but Jason Richardson has taken what feels like six years in recovering from his knee injury.

3) Bucket Boys

We all banged on things as children, but rare were the times that we did so when the end result was something that sounded like actual music.

Conversely, the Bucket Boys (who hail from Chicago, a city filled with talented street performers) are able to put on a pretty darn good halftime show with tools available at your nearest Home Depot. Nothing for nothing, these four guys are like Questlove with the drumsticks.

2) Quick Change

Every time Quick Change does their thing, I get the same look on my face that Steve Francis had after Vince Carter broke out the honey dip dunk. It makes no sense whatsoever that they can change their entire outfits in less than 3 seconds, and the fact that they didn't win the first season of America's Got Talent is a traveshamockery. Do better, America.

(If Gob Bluth could figure out how to replicate the Quick Change act, perhaps they'd let him back into The Alliance of Magicians.)

1) Pee wee basketball

It doesn't matter how old the kids are or what their skill level happens to be: Watching children play basketball on a regulation NBA court is highly entertaining.

There's never any regard for the actual rules of the game, so there's invariably 30 or so kids running around in oversized jerseys fouling each other for a good eight minutes while Brandon Davies is in the locker room re-reading the scouting report in preparation for the second half. And if you're ever in the building for one of these "games" where a kid actually makes a basket? Consider yourself blessed.

(For what it's worth, Mighty Mite hockey is infinitely better than pee wee basketball. There's always the one kid who is the Claude Giroux to everyone else's Dan Carcillo, and he winds up scoring five goals because he's physically superior to his "peers." Think Danny Almonte, but on ice.)

Missing you, Red Panda. Missing you, regular season.

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