Two fans were ejected from Monday’s NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks after a shouting match with LeBron James during the fourth quarter.
The incident occurred with about eight minutes left in the contest NBA officials stopped the game and called on State Farm arena security to handle the issue. Two fans were later escorted from the facility, including a woman who did not have her mask on while having words with James.
According to the Associated Press, a crowd of 1,341 were allowed to attend the game.
The Atlanta Hawks later confirmed that Chris and Juliana Carlos were ejected from the facility. One of those fans, Juliana Carlos, later posted a video explaining her account of the incident on Instagram.
According to the Athletic, the Hawks have launched an investigation into the incident.
Asked after the game, James said he did not feel threatened and that they should not have been removed from the game.
“At the end of the day, I’m happy fans are back in the building,” James said. “I miss that interaction. I need that interaction. We as players need that interaction. I don’t think that they were warranted to be kicked out.
“There was a back and forth between two, grown men. He said his piece, I said my piece and then someone else jumped into it and said their piece. I didn’t think they should be kicked out, but they might have had a couple drinks, maybe. And they could have probably kept it going and the game wouldn’t have been about the game anymore. So, I think the referees did what they had to do.”
Added Lakers forward Montrezl Harrell: “They already given the privilege to come to the game. With COVID going on, a lot of arenas don’t have any fans, so why would y’all run the risk of even putting yourself in that spotlight to be kicked out? And that’s what happened.”