Four fans were ejected from the Los Angeles Lakers’ game in Atlanta against the hometown Hawks on Monday after a confrontation involving LeBron James.
One of the fans, Juliana Carlos, posted to Instagram explaining that she and her husband, Chris, had argued with James during the Lakers’ victory over the Hawks. Security then removed the couple and two others in their party from the arena.
In one video, Carlos is seen with her mask pulled down saying: “Don’t talk to my husband like that,” to James. Someone can be heard telling her to put her mask on, a requirement for fans attending games in the NBA this season.
The referees stopped the game after LeBron was heckled by a spectator in Atlanta. pic.twitter.com/apoDqvt4ll
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 2, 2021
Carlos went into further details on Instagram. “So, I’m minding my own business, and Chris has been a Hawks fan forever. He’s been watching the games for 10 years. Whatever, he has this issue with LeBron. I don’t have an issue with LeBron. I don’t give a fuck about LeBron,” she said in the video.
“Anyway, I’m minding my own business … having fun. All of the sudden, LeBron says something to my husband, and I see this and I stand up. And I go, ‘Don’t fucking talk to my husband.’ And he looks at me and he goes, ‘Sit the fuck down, bitch.’ And I go, ‘Don’t fucking call me a bitch. You sit the fuck down. Get the fuck out of here. Don’t fucking talk to my husband like that.’”
After the game, James tweeted about the incident: “Courtside Karen was MAD MAD!!”.
Courtside Karen was MAD MAD!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
— LeBron James (@KingJames) February 2, 2021
He also addressed the issue in a post-game press conference, where he said he did not believe the couple and their party should have been kicked out of the arena.
“At the end of the day, I’m happy fans are back in the building,” he said. “I miss that interaction. I need that interaction; we as players need that interaction. I don’t feel like it was warranted to be kicked out.”
James did not elaborate on the words Chris Carlos had directed to him but said they were “out of bounds”. James added that he believed alcohol may have been a factor in the confrontation.
“They might have had a couple drinks, maybe,” he said. “And they could have probably kept it going during the game, and the game wouldn’t have been about the game no more, so I think the referees did what they had to do.”
James was not asked about the allegation that he had called Carlos a “bitch”.
Nine of the NBA’s 30 teams are allowing fans into games in a limited capacity. The Hawks will fill their arena up to 8% of its 16,600 capacity during games this season.
[via The Guardian]