mobile app bar

“Not a Representation Larry Bird Wanted”: When an Indianapolis Artist Drew Tattooed Larry Legend Mural and Got a Notice

Akash Murty

“Not a Representation Larry Bird Wanted”: When an Indianapolis Artist Drew Tattooed Larry Legend Mural and Got a Notice

Larry Bird became one of the biggest icons in the game of basketball since his emergence in the late 70s in Indiana, representing Indiana State for 3 years before debuting in the NBA.

The future 3x NBA MVP bringing the Sycamores to the Finals of the NCAA tournament for the first time in 11 years, he became a local legend much before making it to the league in 1979.

And when you become a part of something, the attached people start expecting you to share the common feeling as they do. But every so often it crosses boundaries. And for Bird, the line was his tattooed-up mural on a wall.

Also read: “Larry Bird Said I Would Be the GOAT of Centers!”: Shaquille O’Neal Once Opened Up on How Celtics Legend Made Him Great

When a mural irked Larry Bird

An artist who goes by the name Jules Muck, drew a Larry Bird mural on a residential building in Indianapolis, 40 years after Larry first played in the league in 1979.

Although she received compliments for her work when it went viral online, it didn’t sit well with the man himself who thought it was not a representation of him.

In a Jalen and Jacoby episode at the time, the former Pacers’ player Jalen Rose talked about how Bird has no problem with art and artist expressing himself, but just that the mural “was not a representation he wanted for him.”

Notice from Bird’s team

Larry’s lawyer, Gary Salle, opened up to CNN about his client’s distaste for the matter. Their team then informed Muck about the issue via mail, and that she was violating 6 trademarks owned by Bird.

“He’s wearing colors that match the building,” Muck told CNN affiliated WISH. “It felt to me that it was aesthetically perfect. I also felt if I’m going to paint Larry Bird, I’m going to paint Larry Bird in Indianapolis.

“That being said, I wasn’t trying to make a prestigious fancy piece,” she said. “I also have fun with my work and I kind of like to make people laugh.”

She then agreed to remove all the tattoos other than “Indiana” on Larry’s forearm. Some determination. Alas! Their humor didn’t go hand in hand.

It was a little bit fun to see a tatted-up Bird, the last of the NBA players, who you would imagine having a tattoo. Now his distaste makes sense.

Also read: “You Can’t Beat, What You Can’t Catch”: 6ft 9′ Larry Bird Once Revealed 1981 FMVPs’ Take On Showtime Lakers

About the author

Akash Murty

Akash Murty


An Electrical and Electronics Engineer by degree, Akash Murty is an NBA Editor at The SportsRush. Previously a Software Engineer, Murty couldn’t keep himself away from sports, and his knack for writing and putting his opinion forward brought him to the TSR. A big Soccer enthusiast, his interest in basketball developed late, as he got access to a hoop for the first time at 17. Following this, he started watching basketball at the 2012 Olympics, which transitioned to NBA, and he became a fan of the game as he watched LeBron James dominate the league. Him being an avid learner of the game and ritually following the league for around a decade, he now writes articles ranging from throwbacks, and live game reports, to gossip. LA Lakers are his favourite basketball team, while Chelsea has his heart in football. He also likes travelling, reading fiction, and sometimes cooking.

Read more from Akash Murty

Share this article