Larry Bird doesn’t have any tattoos, and he’d prefer if his portraits didn’t have any either.
Bird is depicted with some ink on a large painting on an Indianapolis multi-family residence, per The Boston Globe, citing the Associated Press. The mural of the Basketball Hall of Famer, who’s donning his blue Indiana State uniform in the painting, includes a tattoo of two rabbits mating on Bird’s right arm and a spider web on his shoulder.
The Boston Celtics legend isn’t all too crazy about Jules Muck’s artwork, however. Muck, who often adds tattoos to portraits to avoid creating an exact replica of a photo, reportedly was asked by a lawyer for Bird to remove the tattoos from the piece. Attorney Gary Sallee claims Bird “needs to protect” his image and “doesn’t want to be seen as a tattooed guy.”
Bird’s gripe is odd for a few reasons. One, it’s just a painting, and it’s tough to imagine anyone actually believes he has those tattoos. And two, Bird hasn’t played in the NBA since 1992, and he hasn’t exactly grown his popularity in his post-playing days like the Michael Jordans, Charles Barkleys and Shaquille O’Neals of the world. We’re not entirely sure what “image” he’s trying to protect.
But hey, do you, Larry.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports Images