Sports | February 2, 2021 10:35 am

“Courtside Karen” Ejected From Lakers-Hawks Game After Spat With LeBron James

Instagram influencer Juliana Carlos removed her mask to exchange barbs with James on Monday night

Instagram Influencer Ejected From Courtside Seat in Atlanta After Spat With LeBron James
LeBron James reacts after hitting a 3-pointer against the Atlanta Hawks.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

A couple of the 1,341 fans who were in attendance to watch the Lakers play the Hawks on Monday night at State Farm Arena in Atlanta didn’t get to see the end of the game after getting into a verbal altercation with LeBron James in the fourth quarter.

One of the fans who was tossed after the NBA’s referees had to stop the game and call in security officers appears to be an aspiring Instagram influencer named Juliana Carlos.

In some obscenity-filled Instagram stories she shared on her account, Carlos said she yelled at James after the NBA superstar “looked at my husband during the game and cussed him out.”

The altercation didn’t affect the outcome of the game, as the Lakers got 25 points from Anthony Davis and James dominated down the stretch to help the Lakers hold off the Hawks for a 107-99 win.

“Fans in the stands is just better. At the end of the day, I’m happy fans are back in the building,” James told reporters after the game. “I missed that interaction, I need that interaction, we as players need that interaction. I don’t feel like it was warranted to be kicked out. There was a back-and-forth between two grown men. We said our piece, 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’ve been kicked out, but they might’ve had a couple of drinks, maybe, and they could’ve probably kept it going and the game wouldn’t have been about the game anymore, so the referees did what they had to do.”

Though James played it cool with his comments, he did take a dig at Carlos via Twitter.

Capitalizing on her 15 minutes of fame, Carlos fired back with a video in which she detailed the situation again and also discussed the notion she is a “gold digger” for being married to an older man.

And, as many viral incidents do, this one led to the creation of a Change.org petition. This one is seeking to ban Carlos from attending any future NBA games for taking off her mask to yell at James and potentially spreading COVID-19.

“This type of behavior should not be allowed inside an NBA stadium especially during this time when players and referees health is at risk,” the petition reads. “Lets keep Courtside Karen out of our NBA stadiums and keep our players safe.” 

The road win was LA’s 12th of the season and the reigning NBA champs are now 16-6 on the season, good enough for third place in the Western Conference. The Lakers will now play 10 of their next 15 games at home and have a good shot to move up in the standings, whether Courtside Karen is in attendance or not.

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