Several fans were escorted out of State Farm Arena in Atlanta after an argument took place courtside with the Lakers’ Lebron James. Juliana Carlos and her husband exchanged words with James during the fourth quarter and forced officials to stop play momentarily. Carlos and her husband were removed from the stadium thereafter, at which point, she took to social media to explain her side of the story.
After the Jame, James shrugged off the incident and laughed about it saying that each side said their piece, it really wasn’t a big deal, and it got blown out of proportion. According to ESPN, four fans in total were ejected from the game. It was reported that Juliana Carlos removed her mask for a moment to shout something at Lebron – an action which was condemned by Lakers’ head coach, Frank Vogel.
Post-victory Lebron remarked that he was just happy to have fans back at games and that he missed those kinds of interactions. He didn’t believe that it was necessary to kick those fans out of the game.
Nonetheless, the incident revealed the volatile circumstances of having fans at NBA games in the midst of a pandemic. Heckling between players and fans will seemingly always be an element of sports, however, removing one’s mask to do so will now be under intense scrutiny at future events.