The Atlanta Hawks will investigate Monday’s altercation between Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and a group of hecklers, according to The Athletic. At least four fans were ejected from the contest after getting into a verbal back-and-forth with James.
The incident occurred in the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ 107-99 win. Officials stopped play after overhearing the incident. An angry woman was spotted pulling down her mask and yelling at James. That woman and her group — which included three other people — were reportedly ejected from the arena.
Following the game, James sent out a tweet dubbing the woman “Courtside Karen.”
Courtside Karen was MAD MAD!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
— LeBron James (@KingJames) February 2, 2021
The woman — whose actual name is Juliana Carlos — immediately went on Instagram and offered an expletive-laden video giving her side of the story. Carlos claimed James cursed out her and her husband, who was also present at the game. The Athletic reviewed footage of the altercation, but the only comment from James that could be heard was James calling the woman’s husband “Ol’ steroid ass.”
LeBron James downplays altercation after the game
If James was upset about the situation, he didn’t show it after the game. James was calm and collected when discussing the run-in. He said he was glad fans were back in the stands, and that he didn’t think the back-and-forth warranted an ejection.
"At the end of the day, I'm happy fans are back in the building. ... I miss that interaction. ... We as players need that interaction."
LeBron on his interaction with spectators in Atlanta on Monday: pic.twitter.com/spWDITZqkl
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 2, 2021
James said he got into the back-and-forth with another man, but “someone else jumped into it.” James added he believed the fans “might have had a couple drinks.” While James didn’t think the fans should have been ejected, he said the refs “did what they had to do.”
Second time a fan has been ejected for going after LeBron James
Monday’s ejection marks the second time in a week a fan was ejected for going after James. During James’ return to Cleveland on Jan. 25, a fan was ejected after harassing James with offensive shirts. The fan reportedly shouted obscenities during the game, and was defiant when confronted by security. The man only left the arena when security threatened to have him arrested.
The Lakers also won that contest, proving it’s going to take a lot more than heckling to throw James off his game.
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