Surveillance Video Shows Vandal Defacing LeBron James Lakers Mural in L.A.
The Mural was supposed to be a nice tribute to King James upon his arrival to Los Angeles.
A perfectly nice couple of guys who were excited about the coming of King James, who also happened to be artists, set up a gig to paint a mural of LeBron in Los Angeles on the side of a barbecue joint. But a $300 reward for vandalism, two acts of defacing, and two new paints job later, the mural is no more.
L.A.-based artists Jonas Never and Fernando Valdez arranged with Baby Blues BBQ to paint a welcome mural of LeBron in what now seems like LeBron's inevitable march to Tinseltown. And the thing was impressively photo-real:
Sure, you could argue that it's a little premature to say he's "King of L.A.," but hey, the chances of that not becoming a commonly used phrase are pretty slim. Anyway, some L.A. bro on Twitter got his board shorts twisted and decided to offer up a $300 reward for destroying the mural. Pretty petty.
And sure enough—unclear whether it was motivated by the $300 reward or just part and parcel with the cesspool that is the Lakers fanbase—some a-hole took five minutes to destroy something that took Never and Valdez 12 hours to create.
Pretty fair to say that the vandal likely lives neatly in the Kobe-GOAT-truther Venn Diagram.
So Never and Valdez took the thing on the chin, and realized that maybe the "of" was the issue, so they did a great job of painting over the graffiti and the "of" in King of LA."
There, you happy jerks? Apparently not. Someone came back a couple of days later and did an even lazier job of defacing this perfectly nice mural, and were caught on surveillance doing it:
Never and Valdez decided that it was just too much for the BBQ joint to take on, so they painted over it. Just look at Never whitewashing all of his hard work. Sad stuff here:
Per the Washington Post:
“I don’t know if it’s LeBron haters or Kobe fans or just someone who wants attention,” Never says in the video. “The funny thing is, I painted Kobe a couple of years ago and people, like, were very quick to forget that one.”
I got a ton of support,” Never said. “At first when we had the original piece, there was a ton of positivity, but also a ton of like pro-Kobe, anti-LeBron sentiment. [Some] people didn’t like it in general, not necessarily the work, but the sentiment that went with it. People had a big problem with the word ‘of.’ I get where they are coming from.
“This was just for my own fun, just being happy that the Lakers were actually going to be talked about again,” he continued. “And I didn’t realize that a mural would be [almost] as talked about as much as the Lakers would be.”
Gosh, he seems like a nice guy. Just in case you needed a side-by-side to make you more sad:
People, this is how professional sports work—athletes follow that paycheck or lifestyle, or they don't have any say in the matter and get traded. Kobe retired. L.A. is a town that worships the next hottest flash in the pan and forgets them two minutes later. At least LeBron will be around for four years—he may be King, but that's the length of a presidency. Get used to it.
This article originally appeared on VICE Sports US.