Some angry fans have defaced a mural of LeBron James in Venice, California.
LeBron James, whether we like it or not, fans or not, is the “ruler” of the National Basketball Association when it comes to players. We can argue “G.O.A.T.” status against Michael Jordan all we want, but it doesn’t change the fact that the Akron, Ohio great is who everyone either loves or loves to hate — and at least one person in Los Angeles is not happy about the king’s arrival.
The now-vandalize mural was created by Jonas Never and graffiti artist Fernando Valdez and tagged with the proclamation that James was the “King of L.A.” The mural depicted James in a Laker jersey and his vintage grimace and grisly beard, a welcomed sight one would think for Laker fans, a stellar player, heck, arguably the best player in the world joining a team of NBA lore, but within every nation (even the NBA nation) there’s opinions and purists, ideas and loyalists, and to this point and degree, not everyone is happy that LeBron James is a Laker.
The mural, which is on the side of a restaurant in Venice, was finished five days after the announcement that James was becoming a Laker and promptly, a Washington Post report said, a Twitter user with the handle “Laker Fanbase” offered $300 to anyone who destroys the mural. Security cameras caught several people defacing the mural and scribbling remarks such as “We don’t want you,” “No King,” “LeFraud,” and even James’ record in the NBA Final, “3-6.”
Well that didn't last long smh pic.twitter.com/Jjq0rrEM43— LWOS LA Lakers (@LWOSLALakers) July 8, 2018
Needless to say, the mural was restored within a day. But restoring it doesn’t change the fact that it was defaced. Also, it doesn’t change something that is possibly even more problematic as fans of the NBA and sports in general: the changing culture and willingness to violently and aggressively display our dislike for something. Over the years, sports has seen its share of unflattering acts — burning of jerseys and etc — but the acceptance of sentiments as such has grown and it’s becoming more and more common, a kind of desensitizing. LeBron James’ mural is just another example of how serious fans take their teams and sports, but it could also be a matter of how serious humanity takes itself.