INDIANAPOLIS – Larry Bird likes the mural, just not the tattoos. So he made an attempt and was – as in his active time – successful.
At the request of a lawyer, an artist has agreed to remove certain tattoos from a large painting by Bird on a Indianapolis apartment building to the former NBA star. The tattoos include two rabbits mating on his right arm, a cardinal on his cheek, and a spiderweb on one shoulder.
Artist Jules Muck painted Bird in a blue basketball uniform. It's a replica of a 1977 Sports Illustrated cover when he starred for Indiana State.
Lawyer Gary Sallee says Bird wants to "protect" its brand and "not want to be seen as a tattooed type."
Muck told The Indianapolis Star that she had agreed to a compromise and removed all the tattoos from the Bird mural except for the word "Indiana" on his left arm.
Muck said she added tattoos to her art to avoid making a full copy of a photograph.  "They said the tattoos are the problem," she told the star before the new agreement. "I can not just make an exact copy of a photo, and I do not want that, we'll see, it'll be a question of how much we have to do to change it."
The Associated Press has contributed to this report.