A semi-heated verbal exchange between LeBron James and two fans led to four people getting ejected from Monday night’s game between the Lakers and Atlanta Hawks, most notably Juliana Carlos and her husband, the former of whom was dubbed “Courtside Karen” for her behavior by LeBron and others.
In the aftermath, the Hawks said they would be launching an investigation into what exactly took place, an investigation that reportedly concluded later on Tuesday with no bans for anyone, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
There will be no ban forthcoming for the four courtside fans ejected from Monday's Hawks-Lakers game, now that the Atlanta Hawks have conducted an investigation into the incident, a league source tells ESPN— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 2, 2021
Or put more simply by my colleague Eric Stephen:
Ultimately, not a lot of courtside carin’ from the league https://t.co/ez4dAXrCvl— Eric Stephen (@ericstephen) February 2, 2021
In what is likely not an unrelated event, Carlos apologized on Instagram for her role in what happened:
I guess we could all unfollow her IG now if we wanted. pic.twitter.com/6oucTHXjo3— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) February 2, 2021
Given the apology and that James himself said he didn’t even think that the fans deserved to be kicked out, this isn’t exactly a shocking conclusion to this whole ridiculous saga. All that’s left to see now is if all these histrionics land Carlos and family some sort of reality TV show role or book deal in the future. I am (sadly) only half kidding.
But between this and the Cavaliers executive that pissed off LeBron in Cleveland, if there is one thing we can learn from all the nonsense on this road trip beyond “hey, maybe don’t take your mask down to yell at players,” it is that fans should probably not make LeBron angry heading into the fourth quarter. The Lakers are now 2-0 in such situations this season, and James is averaging 16.5 points per fourth quarter on 75% shooting in those games. On the season, he is averaging 6.8 points on 42.5% shooting in the fourth quarter, so yes, we now have empirical evidence that he plays better when he’s angry.