The LeBron James mural that welcomed the superstar to Los Angeles is no more. The artist who made the “King of LA” mural painted over the offending artwork on Wednesday, apparently because people wouldn’t leave well enough alone.
Cleveland took down its own LeBron James banner, and when James signed with the Lakers a graffiti artist decided to honor him with a design in Venice. Someone defaced it on Sunday, though, taking up a Twitter user offering a bounty on the mural because it called James the “king” of a city he has yet to play for. As a result, the artist removed the “of” in the design, hopefully to stave off further vandalization.
But that apparently wasn’t enough for Lakers fans upset that James joined the Lakers, or that someone claimed he was a King of anything. It kept getting messed with, and Twitter user @GodzoBall tweeted a before and after of the mural on Wednesday asking “what is wrong with people?”
Though some might have interpreted that the Tweet meant someone else painted over it, they quickly pointed out that the artist himself painted over the mural because of all the trouble it caused.
It’s a shame the artwork came down in the first place, though I suppose there is something to be said for the artist himself deciding what happens to it. Still, it’s not a great look for Lakers fans that people can’t just be happy about James coming to the team, and being OK with the fact that other fans are excited about it.
Laker Josh Hart also wasn’t happy about the news, tweeting on Wednesday that Lakers fans should be “better” than defacing a mural of the latest Lakers star.
Hart wants fans to be better, but maybe this is the best they can do. Getting all tangled up in anger over the word “of” on a mural seems pretty excessive, especially when it causes good art to be destroyed. But perhaps that’s how you become a true fan in LA. Maybe that’s what being a basketball fan should be all about.