King Cake Baby, the creepy seasonal mascot of the NBA's New Orleans Pelicans, made an appearance on the basketball court Monday night against the Los Angeles Clippers in what is fast becoming an annual tradition in the run-up to Mardi Gras, which kicks off next Tuesday.
The large baby mascot with a king's crown, bulging blue eyes, and two buck teeth, is tied to a New Orleans tradition stemming from a Mardi Gras dessert known as King Cake – a multicolored ring cake that includes a baby statue, meant to symbolize Jesus. Whoever is lucky enough to get the piece of cake with the baby has good luck bestowed on them for the year to come.
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When purchased in stores, the baby statue is frequently placed on the outside as a decoration, rather than being baked inside the cake as is done traditionally in Louisiana.
Though it's unclear what role King Cake Baby will play in upcoming Pelicans' games, it doesn't appear King Baby will be replacing the team's actual mascot – Pierre the Pelican.
The freakish mascot led to a flurry of tweets this week, with people from all over expressing their horror at King Cake Baby.
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