SHANGHAI — The energy inside Shanghai’s Rucker Park — an indoor basketball gym — is so high that it stands in defiance to the rain showers falling on the city. To the hundreds of fans who braved the weather to make a pilgrimage here to see LeBron James, this place at the moment is nothing less than a hoops mecca.

However, surrounded by deafening chants of “Lakers for championship,” longtime purple-and-gold supporter Yang Kun is finding himself in a cloud of dilemma.

A devout follower of Kobe Bryant since 2004, Yang is wearing a brand-new No. 23 Lakers jersey — one of only a few in the crowd. James is a man who many Black Mamba fans in China once viewed as their idol’s archenemy.


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