Looney Tunes-themed mural creates hazard on Williamsburg basketball court

Perplexed: Williamsburg ball player Paul Travisano doesn’t use the recently-renovated court because its new paint job is too slippery and due to the botched markings.
Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

It’s dethpicable!

A new “Space Jam” mural painted atop a Williamsburg basketball court to promote an upcoming sequel to the classic 1996 animated sports flick has completely ruined the blacktop, according to local ballers.

The court at Rodney Park North reopened with the Looney Tunes-themed makeover on Aug. 1, but the massive painted images of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird, Sylvester, Lola Bunny, and Taz have created a slipping hazard for players, who say they’d rather not play at all than risk injury.

“I don’t even want to shoot on it because when you’re jumping and coming down, you could actually slip,” said Paul Travisano, a nearby resident and frequent visitor to the court. “Whatever paint they use is very slippery even on a dry day. You can really injure your ankle.”

Critics flocked to social media to vent their anger online over the new mural, blasting media company Get Animated for pulling such a daffy stunt.

“This court is too slick to play on because of the type of paint used. People will get injured — please fix it!” wrote Amy Hunt on the market outfit’s Instagram page.

Warner Bros. partnered with the city’s Park Department to renovate the court through a program called the Creative Courts initiative, which entitles organizations to paint a mural on “dated” sports courts for up to a year, according to a spokeswoman.

Meanwhile, a rep for Warner Bros. claimed that the blacktop has been temporarily closed while the studio works with the Parks Department to apply a coarse coat of silica sand to ensure proper footing there — but this reporter found the court wide open Wednesday afternoon, and had no trouble sliding on the admittedly damp surface “Risky Business” style for several feet.

Locals also griped that the makeover screwed up the court’s three-point line, which is now set up NBA style with straight lines instead of semi circles, making it unsuitable for a neighborhood ball court, according to Travisano.

“I don’t know why they did that,” he said. “Before, the park was exactly what it should be for a neighborhood park.”

And before the court reopened, the California movie studio duped locals by posting drone footage showing the correct lines superimposed on the mural using Photoshop, Travisano pointed out on Twitter.

Warner Bros. employed artists Evan Rossell and Dee Rosse to paint the mural, the latter of whom said that they used Parks Department-approved paint for the project, and that what locals are actually walking on is an overcoat applied by the city after they had finished.

“The paint used was court-approved paint by NYC Parks and Rec on our end (the actual cartoon). WE DID NOT PAINT LINES OR TOP COAT. Parks and Recs is fully responsible for the top coat used - we had absolutely no hand in that!” Rosse said on social media.

The court’s center lines do cut through the artists’ signatures, indicating that they were painted after they completed the artwork.

Travisano does admit that the city got something right by raising basketball hoops at the court to regulation heights during the renovation, but that doesn’t come close to making up for turning their blacktop into a slip ‘n’ slide.

“They actually fixed something,” he said. “The rims are actually better, but because they made the court so slick, you can’t use them.”

Correction: Due to an error in editing, this article previously stated the Parks Department would consider revising the Creative Courts initiative in light of the Rodney Park debacle. In truth, city officials are merely looking into fixing the basketball court there, and there are currently no expected policy changes as a result of the mural.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Before: The court previously had a thin coat of paint that on top of the asphalt and a curved three-point line common for neighborhood ball parks.
Some of the center markings even cross through the signatures of the mural’s artists Evan Rossell and Dee Rosse.
Updated 4:47 pm, August 15, 2019
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
Very good use of video in this article.
Aug. 15, 11:45 am
Ro from Park Slope says:
So much for watching the feet of players and the lines on the court--I mean, mural. Note to those who hire artists: murals belong on walls.
Aug. 16, 7:16 pm
Ms. Me from Bay Ridge says:
I never played basketball but I had the same thought as Ro. Wouldn't that pattern be discombobulating to the players?
Aug. 17, 1:41 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: