‘Courtside Karen was MAD’: LeBron James clashes with female fan as she claims NBA star called her ‘b*tch’
LeBron James has laughed off a heated verbal exchange with fans at the Los Angeles Lakers game against the Atlanta Hawks, labelling one woman “courtside Karen” after she claimed the star called her “a b*itch.”
Four fans were ejected during the fourth quarter at the State Farm Arena after trading words with James as he helped the Lakers to a 107-99 victory.
The four-time NBA champion initially appeared to be involved in a back-and-forth with a man later identified as local businessman Chris Carlos, before his wife Juliana became involved.
She was seen furiously pointing her finger at James before being asked to leave the arena.
The referees stopped the game after LeBron was heckled by a spectator in Atlanta. pic.twitter.com/apoDqvt4ll— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 2, 2021
Juliana Carlos later posted her version of events to Instagram in an expletive-filled rant in which she claimed James had insulted her and her husband.
WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE
“Just got kicked out of the game for talking sh*t to LeBron James for talking sh*t to my husband. This is such f*cking bullsh*t,” Carlos fumed.
LeBron has met his match pic.twitter.com/UmhZ9Y26KK— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) February 2, 2021
“Listen, let me tell you. LeBron James looked at my husband during the game and cussed him out, and I stood up and I go, ‘Don’t f*cking talk to my husband. Talk to my husband one more time and I will f*ck you up’.
“And he goes, ‘Shut your mouth dumb b*itch’, and I go, ‘You shut your f*cking mouth, b*itch.’”
James registered 21 points and seven rebounds as the Lakers claimed a hard-fought win on the road, and after the game the 36-year-old star shrugged off the incident with Carlos and her husband – even claiming they didn’t warrant getting kicked out.
"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 feel like it was warranted to be kicked out."
"At the end of the day, I'm happy fans are back in the building. ... I miss that interaction. ... We as players need that interaction."LeBron on his interaction with spectators in Atlanta on Monday: pic.twitter.com/spWDITZqkl— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 2, 2021
James didn’t discuss the words used in the exchange with the Carlos family, but did suggest they may have been well-refreshed during the incident.
"They might have had a couple drinks, maybe. And they could have probably kept it going during the game, and the game wouldn't have been about the game no more, so I think the referees did what they had to do."
The Lakers star later made light of the spat with a viral tweet labelling Juliana Carlos a ‘Karen’ – the ubiquitous term now applied to supposedly privileged white women.
Courtside Karen was MAD MAD!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣— LeBron James (@KingJames) February 2, 2021
The incident propelled Juliana Carlos to instant social media infamy, with the term 'Courtside Karen' trending on Twitter.
Carlos' Instagram account – which now boasts more than 31,000 followers – saw a surge in activity amid fervent interest in her and her husband.
Chris Carlos reportedly runs a family distribution business in Atlanta, and his wife later revealed he is an avid Hawks fan.
In another X-rated rant at LeBron as well as the people labelling her a gold digger, Juliana branded the basketball star a "p*ssy" for supposedly letting her intimidate him.
“You’re going to let a 25-year-old girl intimidate you during a game? Bye b*tch," Carlos said.
LeBron, any truth to Courtside Karen's claims?pic.twitter.com/Z8dcbequnl— WG (@GuoBlue) February 2, 2021
Nine NBA teams including the Hawks are allowing fans to attend home games, but with limited capacity.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel picked up on the fact that Carlos had her mask lowered during the exchange, saying: “You obviously can't have fans taking their masks down and shouting at our players with the virus out there during these times."
Monday’s attendance was 1,341 – although the now infamous “courtside Karen” was among those who didn’t stay until the end.