It seems not everyone in Los Angeles is happy that LeBron James is a member of the Lakers. A mural put up depicting James in a Lakers jersey and calling him “The King of LA” went up in Venice last week, but it didn’t last long before someone added their own artistic touch to the piece.
“The King of LA” bit if a riff on an incident between James and the New York Knicks last season. James got into it with Enes Kanter on the court, who later referenced James’ “King” nickname in a postgame interview. James responded by posting a photo of himself on Instagram standing over the Knicks logo at Madison Square Garden and calling himself the “King of New York” using an emoji.
James hasn’t called himself “The King of LA” just yet, but the artist here took the liberty of doing that, which made some Lakers fans upset. One even placed a bounty on the mural, offering $300 to someone who would deface it.
That was on Friday, and come Sunday afternoon, it appears the job was done.
The words “we don’t want you” and “LEFRAUD” make it clear that this is not a graffiti artist simply adding on to someone else’s work, but an effort to counteract the art in the first place. The “3-6” painted over the mural indicates James’ record in the NBA Finals, a common argument used by yokels who question whether James is even good at basketball in the first place or whatever.
Because the hustle economy is very real, the person who claims to have done the defacing filmed the whole thing in an effort to claim the bounty for himself while cursing a bit about one of the greatest players to ever touch a basketball. However, the video has been deleted. (A warning that the tweet includes NSFW language.)
He later got around to straight up asking for his money, too, because $300 is $300 and we can all use a little extra coin.
That whole account was nuked by Sunday afternoon, so maybe he won’t be getting his money after all. Later on Sunday, the mural appeared to be cleaned up, though the “of” that made LeBron “The King of LA” was gone. That’s probably to appease Kobe stans or whoever else was offended by the declaration. Maybe it will keep the piece from getting further vandalized.
The lesson? Nothing gold can stay, I suppose. Life is impermanence and chaos begets entropy. Or maybe it’s that you can buy yourself some criminal mischief for just a few hundred dollars if you know how to use Twitter right. It doesn’t change James playing for the Lakers, of course, but haters will always remain hating, even if they cheer for the team that suddenly has everything again.