LeBron James has heard it all from fans during his 18-year career in the NBA. He even said a few things to the spectators on the court.
His interaction on Monday with a couple sitting on the ground during the Lakers-Hawks game in Atlanta was just another back-and-forth. But, he said, he welcomed it, as he hasn’t been able to engage much with fans since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“At the end of the day, I’m glad the fans are back in the building,” he said after the Lakers’ 107-99 victory in which he had 21 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. “I miss that interaction. I need this interaction. As players, we need this interaction.”
To sum up the incident: James was talking about trash to a male fan during the game when the man’s wife angrily defended her spouse. After a series of words exchanged, the couple were kicked out of State Farm Arena.
The wife, Juliana Carlos, said in an Instagram post full of profanity as she left the building, she told James that she would “f … (him)” if he persisted. Once at home, she added more details (and more NSFW language). She said her husband, a Hawks fan, had a “problem” with James but still had her man’s back.
James thought security had a quick thumb.
“There was a back and forth between two adult men; he said his song, I said my song. And then someone else jumped in and said their song, ”James said.
“I didn’t think they should have been kicked out, but maybe they would have had a few drinks, maybe and they probably could have continued and the game wouldn’t have been about the game anymore,” he said. added. “I think the refs did what they had to do.”
And then, for good measure, he gave Ms. Carlos a nickname on Twitter: Courtside Karen.
Courtside Karen was MAD MAD !! ???????
– LeBron James (@KingJames) February 2, 2021
Last year James talked about wanting fans in the stands when the NBA returned to action after its COVID-19 hiatus, claiming players were feeding off the energy provided by spectators. The league has finally resumed its season in the so-called Orlando Bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort in Central Florida. This allowed for limited participation at the end of the playoffs.