Bradley Beal and John Wall replace Bill Cosby on mural at Ben’s Chili Bowl
Wizards teammates get their spot in the sun just in time for the NBA playoffs
After five years of former President Barack Obama, Chuck Brown, DJ Donnie Simpson and Bill Cosby greeting patrons in the form of a mural on the side of Ben’s Chili Bowl in Washington, D.C., the building received a temporary face-lift with the smiling images of Washington Wizards backcourt mates John Wall and Bradley Beal, just in time for the NBA playoffs.
The replacement mural, which was completed April 11, had been in the works since January, when Ben’s Chili Bowl let customers decide who would be next to grace the side of the building. Of the 60 celebrities, athletes, musicians, activists and actors the customers could choose from, Wall and Beal are a natural fit to represent D.C.
“I’ve been painted, but I’ve never had a painting on a big wall before,” Beal said.
“Whenever you’re riding down U Street, you look up, you’re gonna see those two guys as we head into these playoffs. We’re going to win and we’re going to win and we’re going to win at least a few rounds,” Kamal Ali, owner of Ben’s Chili Bowl, told CSN.
“It’s surreal to look up and you think about certain things and wonder how you got here,” Wall said at the mural’s unveiling last week, according to The Washington Informer. “It’s definitely an honor to be in a mural on the wall of Ben’s Chili Bowl in a landmark spot of D.C. It’s cool to see all the fans giving us this support.”
The mural, designed by D.C. high school teacher and photographer Robert Generette III, features Wall and Beal in the Wizards’ Stars and Stripes uniforms, smiling with their arms folded across their chests. The mural will be displayed until May.
The owner of the U Street landmark, which opened in 1958, decided it was time for a change to the mural, which featured a portrait of Cosby after he was accused of sexual assault by a number of women.