LeBron James signing with the Los Angeles Lakers created an interesting dynamic within the fanbase as there is a faction who understandably remain ardent supporters of Kobe Bryant. However, with that, some view James as an inferior player to the five-time champion.
Bryant and James spent much of their careers compared to one another and pitted as rivals. While that’s been drummed up, the two often raved about each other, and Bryant has continued to do so since retiring.
Nonetheless, fans took exception to a mural that was painted, which paid homage to James signing with the Lakers. It mentioned the 14-time All-Star as being the “King of LA,” which may have been the source behind some of the backlash.
The disapproval led to the mural being vandalized and artist Jonas Never making a decision to remove it. He joked about learning now to produce any art that could be perceived as a slight to Bryant.
While Never’s work is no longer up, another mural, one that depicts Bryant, Shaquille O’neal and other Lakers legends, has been painted in another part of Los Angeles, via ESPN
There's a new Lakers mural in LA and it's 🔥 pic.twitter.com/3G8G7ifQkO
— ESPN (@espn) July 19, 2018
Josh Hart was among those to voice his disappointment over the vandalism of James’ mural.
James’ decision to sign with the Lakers dramatically alters the franchise’s outlook but also puts more of a microscope on himself. Whatever success that’s achieved or shortcomings that arise, James will endlessly be compared to Bryant and what he accomplished with the Lakers.
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