Here’s what we know for sure: During the overtime of the Lakers victory over the Pacers, LeBron James pulled off referee Randy Mott to complain about comments from two Pacers fans sitting on the court. These fans were thrown out where the woman made a fake-crybaby face on the way out (which helped get the #LeSnitch trend on Twitter for a while).
LeBron is not happy with these Pacers fans pic.twitter.com/ymuiIquZi9
– NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) November 25, 2021
The reaction to this incident is more interesting than the expulsion itself.
It’s a Rorschach test of how someone feels about LeBron – people see what they want to see.
People who do not like LeBron for political reasons or just like to troll him are quick to think some harmless words that have made LeBron back. LeBron’s defenders are quick to say he was within his rights to get fans who crossed a line expelled.
We do not know what the fans said that aroused LeBron’s anger, and people who reacted to this do not know. Fans react based on emotions based on how they feel about LeBron. Several rumors are circulating about what was said – some of which were outside the bounds of basic human decency and would justify deportation – but we do not know for sure what happened. We also do not know for sure whether the couple had previously been warned by the security guard to withdraw, as some witnesses have suggested.
“When obscene gestures and language come into it, it can not be tolerated,” James told reporters after the match. “There’s a difference between cheering on your team and not wanting the other team to win and things I would never say to a fan and they should not say to me.”
Everyone sitting in the first few rows of an NBA game has a small postcard on their seat that warns them that certain language and gestures against players, coaches, or referees can lead to their expulsion.
This is not the first time LeBron has had a fan expelled; there was the “Karen at the Farm” event in Atlanta for one. There have been others.
How you feel about it all says more about how you feel about LeBron than the incident itself.