Los Angeles Lakers fans were largely ecstatic when LeBron James agreed to sign a four-year, $153 million contract. His arrival signaled the end of a painful rebuild.
It also showed that controlling owner Jeanie Buss did the right thing by hiring Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka to run the front office. The signing of James is a move that should be popular among any fanbase.
And so, of course, many fans have every right to be thrilled at James’s arrival. However, there are some who were less than pleased with the news. This includes two types of Lakers fans.
One group is those who spent their entire lives despisng James. The other group being fans of Kobe Bryant who refuse to allow James to be the recipient of the torch.
Whatever your feelings on the signing may be, it appears that a few fans may have crossed a line. They did so by defacing a mural of James that was painted in Los Angeles.
And due to the vandalism, the artist who created the mural felt taking it down was the best route. The video, via Yahoo Sports’s NBA Twitter account, can be seen here:
The artist who painted the LeBron Mural in LA (@never1959) has now painted over it because it kept being vandalized ????
— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) July 11, 2018
While Jonas Never received positive feedback, he also joked about learning a tough lesson, via ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk:
Never told ESPN he covered the mural with white paint Wednesday not long after a vandal had splattered yellow paint on his work, which featured James in a Los Angeles Lakers jersey on a wall at the Baby Blues BBQ restaurant in Venice.
“I thought I had learned a long time ago to never touch religion or politics,” said Never, the Los Angeles-based muralist who has also designed murals of the late Anthony Bourdain and Stuart Scott among many others.
“I guess it is never touch religion, politics or anyone against Kobe,” Never cracked.
It is true that calling James “The King of LA” before he even puts a jersey on is a little ambitious. But it seems that Lakers fans as a whole were largely disappointed with the extreme reaction to this mural.
James obviously has little to prove as a basketball player, but being a Laker is a whole different story. James will now have a brand new set of expectations that he’s never seen before.
The mural’s defacing is an issue, but it’s true that James must prove himself before he’s anointed “The King of LA.”
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