Be careful what you wish for.
In the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, prior to the NBA completely shutting itself down and taking an extended hiatus due to safety concerns, the NBA sent a memo to every team warning them of the possibility of prohibiting fans from continuing to attend games.
LeBron James, the undisputed face of the league, wasn’t trying to hear that shit though.
“We play games without the fans? Nah, it’s impossible,” he sneered during a post-game interview. “I ain’t playing. If I ain’t got the fans in the crowd, that’s who I play for. I play for my teammates. I play for the fans. That’s what it’s all about. If I show up to an arena and there are no fans in there, I ain’t playing. They can do what they want to do.”
In the time since, LeBron would eventually retract that statement and collect his fourth Larry O’Brien trophy along the way—without fans in attendance. But as the world learns to adapt to this new normal, fans have slowly reintegrated into the NBA experience we all know and love.
As it currently stands, only a handful of teams allow fans at a reduced capacity based on local coronavirus guidelines. Los Angeles isn’t on that list—I know this because I live two blocks away from Staples Center—but of course, one of them is Atlanta (the mythical land where nightclubs, day parties, and indoor Zumba classes are still very much a thing despite the looming threat of COVID-19).
On Monday night, as the Lakers and Hawks went to war inside of Atlanta’s State Farm Arena, LeBron finally got his wish to play in front of fans and a select number of fans got their wish to finally partake in NBA action in person. You would think that after months of watching the Hawks stink it up from home that people like Juliana Carlos would be happy just to be in the building. But nope! Because some of y’all missed the Proper Decorum 101 chapter of your adolescence—if you go into people’s fridges without permission, that includes you, by the way—this happened:
The woman in question—who LeBron would later dub “Courtside Karen”—is Carlos, one of four people ejected from the arena for engaging in a heated exchange with King James. And for those wondering what that “heated exchange” consisted of, Would You Shut the Fuck Up Already Barbie was kind enough to hop on Instagram and tell everyone herself.
Perhaps realizing that barking “Fuck you, LeBron! You’re a fucking pussy!” was bad for her botox, Carlos then came to her senses on Tuesday and offered an apology—of sorts.
LeBron, however, seems to be completely unbothered by the entire ordeal.
“I’m happy fans are back in the building,” he told reporters. “I miss that interaction. We as players need that interaction.”
Adding, “There was a back-and-forth between two grown men. We said our piece. He said his piece, I said my piece. Then someone else jumped into it and said their piece. I didn’t think they should have been kicked out. But they might have had a couple of drinks [...] The referees did what they had to do.”
Not exactly the best way to kick off Black History Month, but at least we still have the 2nd Annual Blackest Awards.