15 minutes of infamy? LeBron James heckler Juliana Carlos – aka ‘Courtside Karen’ – faces calls to be BANNED from NBA games
Carlos was ejected from Monday night’s game between the LA Lakers and Atlanta Hawks at the State Farm Arena after she and husband Chris were heard trading barbs with James in the fourth quarter.
An enraged Juliana later accused the Lakers star of calling her “a dumb b*itch” and claimed she had stepped in to defend her husband’s honor after James had “cussed him out.”Also on rt.com ‘Courtside Karen was MAD’: LeBron James clashes with female fan as she claims NBA star called her ‘b*tch’
Four-time NBA champ James took the whole episode in good humor, later asserting that the pair of fans should not have been ejected.
In a viral tweet, James also labelled Juliana “Courtside Karen” – a reference to the derisory title now ubiquitously attached to any middle-class white woman overly keen on exerting her “privilege.”
Courtside Karen was MAD MAD!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣— LeBron James (@KingJames) February 2, 2021
The whole episode sent hordes of NBA fans scrambling to google ‘Who is Juliana Carlos?’ – swelling the curvy blonde's Instagram following to more than 50,000 in the space of just a few hours.
Many picked up on Juliana’s gilded lifestyle displayed online with her husband, who helps run family business Republic National Distributing Co. in Atlanta.
According to US media, the company is the second largest distributor of premium wine and spirits in the country and racked up revenue of $11 billion revenue in 2019.
Juliana appeared to reveal in a subsequent video rant against LeBron that she has been branded a ‘gold digger’ – but furiously dismissed that claim by raging: “Guess what, if I was a gold digger I would sit back and mind my own bee’s wax.
"But guess what, I’m not a gold digger. That’s my husband, I love him. If anyone disrespects him, I will check him, whether it’s LeBron James or a bum on the street.”
LeBron, any truth to Courtside Karen's claims?pic.twitter.com/Z8dcbequnl— WG (@GuoBlue) February 2, 2021
The ‘Courtside Karen’ episode has captured the public imagination stateside, with the term trending on Twitter as well as the phrase ‘She’s 25’ – as fans were dubious over Juliana’s assertion that she really was that young.
Biggest twist was that she’s 25. Would have bet all my GameStop shares she’s 40.— Jonathan Fleischman (@Flschbrger) February 2, 2021
Now the incident has taken an even more bizarre twist with a Change.org petition springing up, calling for Carlos to be banned from further NBA games for lowering her mask to shout at James.
“Taking her mask off to yell was not a good decision considering Covid spreads faster indoors,” the petition read.
“This type of behavior should not be allowed inside an NBA stadium especially during this time when players and referees health is at risk.
“Let’s keep Courtside Karen out of our NBA stadiums and keep our players safe.”
The petition had a modest starting aim of 100 signatories and appeared to get little traction initially – perhaps because everyone else was either too busy laughing or checking out Carlos' Instagram account.