By Toby Rowland, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Bison will represent the Oklahoma City Thunder as the new team mascot.

The Oklahoma City Thunder will make the official announcement during the February 17 home game against the New Orleans Hornets.

Speculation about the mascot has been widespread, but team officials announced it wouldn't be revealed until the second half of the season, or possibly during the All-Star Break.

The Bison is expected to perform throughout games as well as community functions. In addition to the design of the costume, the team also faced legal obstacles such as licensing and trademark issues before the highly anticipated announcement could be made.