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Painted tattoos ruffle Bird's feathers

The artist behind the mural of Larry Bird added the tattoos to differentiate her work from the photograph on which it was based.
Credit: AP Photo/Darron Cummings
D'Andre Peyton takes a photo of a mural of former NBA star Larry Bird on the side of a multi-family residence in Fountain Square on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, in Indianapolis.

INDIANAPOLIS — 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 a 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.