LeBron James mural vandal caught on tape, but the mural is gone now

Torrey HartYahoo Sports Contributor
The new mural at precisely 2:48 p.m. Sunday, July 8th. (Yahoo Sports)
The new mural at precisely 2:48 p.m. Sunday, July 8th. (Yahoo Sports)

LOS ANGELES – After continued vandalism to his new LeBron James mural on an outside wall of Baby Blues BBQ in Venice, California, artist Jonas Never covered it up with white paint himself, restaurant owner Robb Aguirre confirmed to Yahoo Sports Wednesday.

Never originally painted the mural last Thursday and Friday, and it was vandalized for the first time around 1 a.m. Sunday, when the restaurant’s security camera caught vandals graffitiing the phrases “We don’t want you,” “LeFraud,” “No King,” and “3-6” (a jab at James’ career NBA Finals record) over Never’s work.

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One vandal was caught on security footage from a nearby restaurant. The footage was posted by NBC Los Angeles reporter Robert Kovacik.

The mural, in its initial state, received criticism for depicting the phrase “The King of LA” around James’ image, which many perceived as a slight toward Kobe Bryant.

In response, the artist removed the word “of” when he cleaned up the graffiti on Sunday, which you’d think would have put and end to the chaos.

However, around midnight Wednesday morning, vandals threw paint on the mural, prompting Never to cover it up entirely. The artist specializes in “topical” murals including recent works following the untimely deaths of chef Anthony Bourdain and musician Chester Bennington, which still remain intact. 

“It was supposed to be a welcome, and it ran its course,” Aguirre told Yahoo Sports.

As the old adage goes: This is why we can’t have nice things.

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