INDIANAPOLIS -- Larry Bird likes the mural, just not the tattoos. So he took a shot and -- like in his playing days -- was successful.
An artist, after being asked by a lawyer for the former NBA star, has agreed to remove certain tattoos from a large painting of Bird on an Indianapolis multifamily residence. The tattoos include two rabbits mating on his right arm, a cardinal on his cheek and a spiderweb 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 told The Indianapolis Star that she has agreed to a compromise and will remove all tattoos from the Bird mural except one of the word "Indiana" on his left arm.
Muck said she adds things like tattoos to her art to avoid creating a complete copy of a photo.
"They said the tattoos are the problem," she told the Star before the new agreement. "I can't just do an exact replica of a photograph. Plus, I don't want to. We'll see. It's going to be a matter of how much we have to do to change it."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.