New Orleans Pelicans mascot Pierre in is the process of getting a facelift of sorts, just in time for NBA All-Star Weekend.
Actually, it’s more like somewhat of a redesign.
The Pelicans said in a news release Monday that Pierre had a broken beak. The “injury” apparently occurred Saturday at the Pelicans’ practice facility in pickup game that involved Memphis Grizzlies mascot Grizz, the Denver Nuggets’ Rocky, the Sacramento Kings’ Slamson and New Orleans Saints’ Gumbo. Grizz was said to have fouled Pierre hard, knocking him into the padded stanchion on the goal support.
However, it has been known for weeks that a redesign was in the works for Pierre, mostly a tweak of the beak, which has been the source of much joking and ridicule.
Ever since the Pelicans’ season opener at home against the Indiana Pacers on Oct. 30, when Pierre was unveiled for the first time, fan reaction to the mascot, who replaced longtime favorite Hugo, has been unfavorable.
During and after the opening game, social media lit up with comments about Pierre being unappealing, particularly to children, some of whom reportedly found him to be “frightening.” Twitter and other media was lit up with pictures of the mascot and unflattering comments.
Story of Pierre’s “injury and recovery” will air on Fox Sports New Orleans on Tuesday night during halftime of the Pelicans game against the Bucks in Milwaukee. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.