When LeBron James signed a four-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers in July, it marked the start of a clean slate for a franchise in desperate need of one.
Having endured five consecutive seasons without a playoff appearance, the three-time NBA champion’s arrival was met with optimism and excitement. James was immediately embraced by the majority of the Lakers fanbase, receiving two murals in the city of Los Angeles over the summer.
The first, by artist Jonas Never, who opted to take down his artwork after it was vandalized. A second portrait depicted James looking up at Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, paying homage to the dominant duo that delivered three consecutive NBA championships to the Lakers in 2000-02.
This, too, was unfortunately vandalized, to the dismay of Lakers guard Josh Hart and owner Jeanie Buss. On Friday, a new mural of James was unveiled at the Lakers’ UCLA Health Training facility.
He’s front and center in this particular piece, surrounded by the likes of franchise greats Bryant, Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
New art installation at the Lakers’ practice facility. LeBron is front and center along with the franchise’s rich history pic.twitter.com/9j5CEWuM8X
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 20, 2018
The latest mural of James perfectly captures what the previous two attempted to before being vandalized. One can safely assume this one isn’t in danger of suffering a similar fate, given that it’s located safely inside the Lakers’ headquarters.
James was successful in his Lakers debut on Thursday, scoring 26 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the field in addition to tallying 12 rebounds and six assists in 37 minutes of action.
The 14-time NBA All-Star is now set to make his home debut on Saturday, when the Lakers host the Houston Rockets in search of their first win of the season.
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