HBO Removes Ad Covering Kobe Bryant Mural After Backlash

HBO no longer has a billboard that was covering up a Kobe Bryant mural in Los Angeles. According to The Wrap, HBO removed the billboard that covered up a mural near The Grove in L.A.'s Fairfax district. Once the billboard was noticed by fans, HBO received a lot of backlash, which led to the network contacting the vendor to take down the Billboard. The Wrap reported this "was an overall outdoor buy that included a vendor called Great Outdoor, and the company was not aware that the mural would be obscured."

Great Outdoor, who owns the space, talked to The Wrap about the mural. "We actually commissioned the artist to paint this mural up there because we had a couple of open months on it," Great Outdoor said. "This idea was all approved by the artist and we preserved the mural so in between ad campaigns the mural will be back. The artist told us that he will reach out to anyone that says anything to let them know that he approved this idea and he was trying to find a creative way to support Kobe’s foundation.

The good news for Bryant fans is the mural is not damaged after being covered. Bryant fans are still mourning the loss of the Los Angeles Lakers legend as he and his daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash along with seven additional people on Jan. 26. Bryant's death drew reactions from all over the world, and a memorial service was held at the Staples Center in February. Bryant's wife, Vanessa spoke at the service and talked about how much she meant to him. "I couldn't see him as a celebrity, nor just an incredible basketball player, she stated. "He was my sweet husband and the beautiful father of our children. He was my — he was my everything."

Bryant was a member of the Lakers from 1996-2016. He led the team to five NBA Championships and was named NBA Finals MVP in 2009 and 2010. Bryant also won the MVP award in 2008 after averaging 28.3 points, 5.4 assists and 6.3 rebounds per contests. He reached the All-Star game in all by two of his seasons.