Basketball fans who watch halftime shows were devastated a few years ago when Red Panda retired due to an injury. If you never saw her act, Red Panda – whose real name is Rong Niu – sits on top of a large unicycle, balances bowls on her feet, and tosses them onto the top of her head. It seems simple enough, but as someone who has seen the act a few times, trust me, it rules. Red Panda would do a bevy of sporting events, namely basketball games, and the act would always blow the crowd away. She even had a brief stint on America’s Got Talent, where she made it to the semifinals.
Now, Red Panda is coming out of retirement. The Memphis Grizzlies announced that Red Panda will perform at the team’s home opener on Oct. 28 against Cleveland. According to the team, Red Panda promised that if she ever came out of retirement, her first game would be with the Grizzlies.
Panda will be making her triumphant return to the league for a special halftime performance, her first NBA performance since injuries forced her to announce her retirement after 20+ seasons. Her comeback tour will continue across NBA arenas this season, but starts in Memphis, where team entertainment staff encouraged Panda during her absence from the game. Her appearance fulfills a promise that she made saying if she ever returned to the NBA circuit, she’d come back to Memphis first.
The team was so excited, that it even put the news on Twitter. Here’s to hoping there’s no rust on the best halftime act in basketball.