Los Angeles Artist Repaints LeBron James Mural After Second Act Of Vandalism
Los Angeles-based artist Jonas Never decided to repaint his mural of LeBron James on Wednesday after it had been vandalized twice in five days.
The unidentified vandal had reportedly tossed yellow paint onto the mural, which showed James — who just joined the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this month in free agency — wearing the team’s jersey. The mural is located on a a wall a restaurant in Venice.
“I thought I had learned a long time ago to never touch religion or politics,” Never told ESPN. He is the same artist behind the murals of late chef Anthony Bourdain and late sportscaster Stuart Scott, among other celebrities. “I guess it is never touch religion, politics or anyone against Kobe,” Never added.
The mural of James includes the words “The King of L.A.” on it and was completed on Friday. Never’s artwork has reportedly received mixed opinions.
The mural’s first vandalism was marked by a person spray-painting the words “We Don’t Want You,” “No King” and “3-6” on it, with the latter message seemingly referring to James’ run during the NBA Finals.
After the design was tarnished again on Tuesday, Never decided to stop fixing it.
“I know when to cut my losses,” stated the artist, who painted a Kobe Bryant mural close to Staples Center during the former NBA star’s last season with the Lakers in 2016. “The first vandalism was made easier to swallow because, by all accounts from the Twitter debate [over it] that we saw, it looked like a guy offered up a $300 bounty to anyone who destroyed the mural. Some guy did it and posted video of him doing it and responded to the guy and said ‘Pay me.'”
Current Lakers star Josh Hart decried the vandalism of the mural on Twitter, calling the act “sad and disrespectful.”
This is sad and disrespectful…. LA we better than this https://t.co/PfSVQI2lAi
— Josh Hart (@joshhart) July 11, 2018