INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Larry Bird likes the mural but not the tatts.
A lawyer for the former NBA star has asked an artist to remove certain tattoos from a large painting of Bird on an Indianapolis multi-family residence. The tattoos include two rabbits mating on his right arm and spider web on a shoulder.
Artist Jules Muck painted Bird in a blue basketball uniform. It’s a replica of a 1977 Sports Illustrated cover when he played for Indiana State.
Attorney Gary Sallee says Bird “needs to protect” his brand and “doesn’t want to be seen as a tattooed guy.” Muck says she adds things like tattoos to her art to avoid creating a complete copy of a photo.
She says she’s trying to reach an agreement with Bird’s representatives.
Mural artist Jules Muck confirms to WISH TV in Indianapolis that after speaking with Larry Bird’s attorney they came to a compromise on covering the tattoos on the mural.
She’s going to cover up all the tattoos except for the “Indiana” tattoo on Larry’s forearm.
Muck added she never wants to upset anyone with her work, just trying to do something creative.
Will likely happen in the next few days as she also works on other murals in town.
Muck also said that since the mural is based on a photograph at least one of the tattoos needed to remain in order not to infringe on the copyright of that photo. Otherwise, it would have needed to be taken down entirely.
(This story was originally published on August 21, 2019)