The Guide to LeBron James' Los Angeles

It's good to be the King

LeBron James | Photo courtesy of NBA, Facebook
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On July 1, 2018, LeBron James announced he would sign a four-year, $154-million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers and the spotlight is once again shining on one of the most storied franchises in sports history. Widely regarded as the best basketball player in the world and one of the greatest players of all time, LeBron brings a long list of career highlights to the Lakers, including: 3 NBA championships, 3-time NBA Finals MVP, 4-time NBA MVP, 14-time All-Star, an NBA scoring title, and two Olympic Gold Medals. With King James leading the way, expectations are high for the Lakers to raise a 17th Championship Banner at STAPLES Center.

Lakers fans around the world have marked their calendars: the Lakers open the 2018-19 season on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers on October 18 and will return to STAPLES Center for the home-opener on October 20 versus the Houston Rockets. For the 20th consecutive season, the Lakers will play on Christmas Day, traveling to Oakland to face the Golden State Warriors.

As King James begins his reign in Los Angeles, read on and discover LeBron James' L.A.

Purple (& Gold) Reign: Los Angeles Lakers

The famous purple and gold uniforms of the Los Angeles Lakers made their debut when the team began playing their home games at The Forum in 1967. Purple was the favorite color of the Lakers’ then-owner, Jack Kent Cooke, who changed the color scheme when he bought the team and moved them from Minneapolis to L.A. For some reason, Cooke always referred to the Lakers’ purple as “blue,” so Hall of Fame broadcaster, Chick Hearn coined the phrase “Forum Blue and Gold” to describe the team’s home uniforms.

Unveiled for the 2018-19 season, the new Lakers uniforms bring back an element of the 1980s Showtime Era - updated numbers, which use a vertical drop shadow - along with a rounded neckline. The Lakers purple "Statement" jersey features the addition of a black side panel.

Something tells us King James is a Prince fan. In a recent Instagram story, LeBron shared an exclusive edition of his signature Nike LeBron 15 that he dubbed "Purple Rain," featuring a purple floral pattern and other purple touches. The Instastory was timed to the anniversary of Purple Rain opening in theatres in 1984.

Fairfax District

LeBron James makes his first public appearance as a Laker at the NBA Summer League
LeBron James makes his first public appearance as a Laker | Instagram by @kingjames

While you may not find fireproof purple suede Nikes, you might discover your new favorite pair of sneakers in the Fairfax District, which L.A. rapper Nocando affectionately calls “the Tigris and Euphrates of cool.” Besides Tyler the Creator's flagship GOLF store, you’ll find Supreme, Pink Dolphin, DOPE, the Hundreds, and Crooks & Castles. Read on for Nocando's guide to hip hop in L.A. Read More

Blaze Pizza

In 2012, LeBron James and his business partners made an initial $1-million investment in Blaze Pizza that's now worth an estimated $35 to $40 million, according to ESPN. Founded in Pasadena in 2011, the fast casual pizza chain has grown spectacularly and now spans more than 260 locations across the U.S., Canada and even Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. James won't have to go far to enjoy his investment - there's a Blaze location at STAPLES Center, with dozens more across L.A. County. 

The King XXIII Roll at Katsuya

The King XXIII Roll at Katsuya
The King XXIII Roll at Katsuya | Photo by Ryan Forbes

To welcome LeBron to Los Angeles, sbe’s sushi concept, Katsuya has created The King XXIII Roll. Priced at $35, The King XXIII Roll is made with King Crab, A4 Wagyu Beef, Truffle Butter, Wasabi and Ume topped with Caviar. To further honor King James, sbe will donate $1 from every King XXIII Roll sold to the LeBron James Family Foundation to support its newly opened I PROMISE School in Akron, Ohio.  

The King XXIII Roll is launching on October 15, the week of the Lakers’ regular season home opener against the Houston Rockets. The King XXIII Roll will be available throughout the NBA regular season and the Lakers' postseason run at all Katsuya Los Angeles locations: L.A. LIVE, Hollywood, Brentwood and Glendale.

CicLAvia & Biking the Strand

LeBron is an avid cyclist - he famously biked to work during his tenure with the Miami Heat, he was a part owner of Cannondale Bicycles, and the LeBron James Family Foundation sponsors Wheels for Education, a mentoring program for at-risk youth that grew from a bike-a-thon the foundation sponsored in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

While Los Angeles is famous for its car culture, the city is increasingly embracing the car free cycling life. The largest open streets event in the U.S., CicLAvia temporarily closes streets to car traffic and opens them for Angelenos to use as a public park - creating a safe place to bike, walk, skate, roll, and dance. Since 2010, over 1 million people have experienced CicLAvia. Next up is the popular Heart of L.A. route on December 2, which spans Chinatown, DTLA and Boyle Heights.

Wine Tastings

LeBron James wine bottles
LeBron's wine nights are better than yours | Instagram by @kingjames

LeBron James: NBA champion and All-Star, future Hall of Famer, Olympic Gold Medalist, business mogul… wine connoisseur? It's true, and you already know this if you follow LeBron's Instagram feed, where he occasionally posts a high-end bottle (or empties from a $1,200 wine night). Wine critics have said LeBron's picks are legit: "He must love cabernets and cabernet-based blends—they're all from top producers," said master sommelier Dustin Wilson in an interview with Bleacher Report.

The Vault at the Petersen Automotive Museum

LeBron James and his Mercedes-Maybach S600
LeBron James and his Mercedes-Maybach S600 | Instagram by @kingjames

When your net worth is somewhere north of $400 million, not just any car will do. Or any dozen cars for that matter, as websites continue to obsess over LeBron's mindblowing car collection. For car buffs, The Vault at the Petersen Automotive Museum is a bucket list experience - an extraordinary collection of 250 iconic and rare cars from around the world exhibited in a newly renovated 60,000 square-foot underground space. Two tour options are available: the 75-minute Introductory Tour and the 120-minute World Tour.

Healthy Dining

"Elated" mole abuelita enchiladas at Gratitude Beverly Hills
"Elated" mole abuelita enchiladas at Gratitude Beverly Hills | Instagram by @foodsaplenty

California African American Museum

LeBron James wore black and white "EQUALITY" sneakers against the Washington Wizards in December 2017
LeBron James wore black and white "EQUALITY" sneakers against the Washington Wizards in December 2017 | Instagram by @kingjames

Through his foundation and in numerous interviews, LeBron has been a strong voice for the African American community. He spoke out in support of the NFL players National Anthem protests,and recently gave $2.5 million to help fund a Muhammad Ali exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Last December, LeBron made a statement in a game at the Washington Wizards by wearing one black and one white sneaker - each had the word "EQUALITY" stitched in gold. His Instagram caption read, "Stand for something of power and change or don't stand for anything!"

Located at Exposition Park in Downtown L.A., the California African American Museum (CAAM) exists to research, collect, preserve and interpret for public enrichment, the history, art and culture of African Americans. The museum conserves more than 3,500 objects of art, historical artifacts and memorabilia, and maintains a research library with more than 20,000 books and other reference materials available for limited public use.

Currently on view through Dec. 31, 2018 at CAAM, Gary Simmons: Fade to Black is a site-specific painting that includes titles of vintage silent films that feature all–African American casts. Fade to Black spans the five 440 square-foot walls in CAAM’s grand lobby. This is the first L.A. museum exhibition for Simmons, who received his MFA at CalArts in 1990 and recently returned to Los Angeles. His work references film, architecture, and American popular culture in paintings and drawings that address race, class, and memory.

Fall Art & Landmark Houses

LeBron James and Brice Marden at Casa Malaparte
LeBron James and Brice Marden at Casa Malaparte | Instagram by @mirabellezahara

A Stay Fit for King James

Following are two LeBron-themed hospitality packages, offered by LEVEL Furnished Living in Downtown L.A. and Hotel Erwin in Venice Beach.

Located in DTLA less than a mile from STAPLES Center, LEVEL Furnished Living is offering several three-night packages, including Tipoff ($1,500) Gameday ($10,000), Quest for 17 ($17,000), and the MVP Package ($23,000). Available for up to four people, the ultimate Fit for a King package is priced at $200,023 and includes:

  • 3 nights at LEVEL’s 18,000 square foot Luxury Penthouse
  • Private jet, including food and drinks, from anywhere in the continental United States to LAX
  • Exclusive black car service within L.A. including to/from LAX
  • Private chef hosted dinner in the Penthouse
  • Premium seats to an L.A. Lakers game
  • 24/7 Butler services
  • Lakers team apparel

Located just steps from the world famous Venice Boardwalk, Hotel Erwin is offering the King's Triple Double Package, which includes:

  • Room suite of your choice
  • $40 credit towards brunch at High Rooftop Lounge
  • 2 cocktail vouchers
  • $40 credit towards dinner at Barlo
  • Basketball to shoot hoops