Retired NBA legend Larry Bird wasn’t pleased when he saw a mural of himself that was recently painted on an Indianapolis building by street artist Jules Muck.
The mural, painted in the trendy Fountain Square area of Indianapolis, was based on a photo of Bird from a 1977 Sports Illustrated shoot.
Bird was OK with that part.
What he wasn’t so OK with was the extra ink Muck added to his likeness.
Bizarrely, the mural shows Bird with at least 10 different tattoos on his face, arms and neck, none of which he actually has.
Particularly strange is the tattoo on his right forearm that appears to depict two rabbits mating, which has been censored by some outlets.
this larry bird mural lmao pic.twitter.com/isdPZjqQFR
— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) August 20, 2019
— Mark Treiber (@31Tribes) November 29, 2017
“Larry’s position is he has elevated himself from where he began to where he is now through a lot of hard work. He has developed a brand that is marketable and he needs to protect that brand,” Bird’s attorney, Gary Sallee, told the Indianapolis Star. “The mural, as originally painted, was a departure from that brand.”
“All of his friends and 98% of his players are tattooed. He doesn’t have any problem with tattoos,” Sallee added. “He just doesn’t want to be seen as a tattooed guy.”
It seems Larry Legend will be getting his wish, because both Muck and Sallee now say the two parties have agreed that all tattoos except for the one reading “Indiana” will be removed from the painting.
“It’s nothing personal against Larry,” Muck explained. “I actually think it’s funnier to put tattoos on people who don’t have them.”
— CNN (@CNN) August 22, 2019
“They’re being really cool though. They’re really nice about it. It’s not like a legal situation,” Muck told WBZ of Bird and his representatives.
“They told me that Larry was upset with it and that’s really what bothered me.” Jules Muck, artist behind Larry Bird mural in Indianapolis.
She plans to modify the tattooed image later today.
Bird’s team has agreed to let her keep “Indiana” on his forearm. @wbz pic.twitter.com/GyvSfBes34
— Anaridis Rodriguez (@Anaridis) August 22, 2019
But some have noticed the mural contains another glaring problem that has nothing to do with tattoos: Bird’s jersey says “Indiana” (a completely different school) rather than “Indiana State” like it should.
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