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A group of four unruly fans were ejected from Monday night’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks after a rowdy courtside argument with LeBron James.
Referees were forced to halt the game in the fourth quarter to stop the conflict, which began when a woman appeared to yell at the Lakers star for an extended period of time before being escorted out of the building. She was reportedly seen holding up both middle fingers as she left the court, according to The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner.
Following the game, James tweeted, “Courtside Karen was MAD MAD!!”
It’s been less than a week since NBA fans have been allowed back in Atlanta’s State Farm Arena, a fact that James remained happy about in his postgame press conference, despite the incident.
“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.”
He called the fight a “back and forth between two grown men,” and said he didn’t think the fans’ ejection was warranted.
The woman who flipped James the bird, whose name appears to be Juliana Carlos according to her Instagram page, posted a series of profanity-filled videos to her story while leaving the stadium.
“Let me tell you, LeBron James looked at my husband, during the game, and cussed him out,” Carlos said.
According to Carlos, she told James “Don’t f—ing talk to my husband. Talk to my husband one more time and I will f— you up.”
The back-and-forth didn’t appear to negatively affect James’ gameplay — the Lakers’ star hit a crucial 3-pointer down the stretch and finished the matchup with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists.
Atlanta has been allowing fans back in their stadium since January 26. The organization also released a comprehensive safety plan, which included “mandating face coverings” and “limiting capacity to allow physical distancing.”