'Courtside Karen' apologizes, won't be banned after Hawks investigate heckling incident with LeBron James

Jason Owens
·2-min read

The Atlanta Hawks fan LeBron James dubbed “Courtside Karen” after a high-profile heckling incident Monday has apologized for her outburst.

She’s also been cleared to return to Hawks games along with the rest of her party that got kicked out of Monday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers. According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, the Hawks conducted an investigation into the incident and will not ban the four fans who were ejected on Monday from future games.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) is shown against the Atlanta Hawks in the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
LeBron James' Hawks heckler issued an apology on Tuesday. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The incident occurred in the fourth quarter of Monday’s Lakers win and prompted officials to halt play and call security when fans with sideline seats got heated with James. Juliana Carlos was particularly vocal and appeared to give James a middle-finger salute upon her ejection from State Farm Arena along with her husband and another couple.

She also dropped her mask to yell at James while she was still courtside.

After her ejection, Carlos — who appears to have social media influencer aspirations — took to Instagram with a profanity-laden tirade in which she said that she told James “I will f*** you up.” She accused James of cussing at her husband, which apparently sparked her anger.

The Athletic accessed courtside footage of the incident and determined that James uttered “Ol’ steroid ass” during the interaction.

‘I want to apologize for losing my cool’

On Tuesday, Carlos issued an apology on Instagram, noting that “things escalated quickly.”

James wasn’t mad

James didn’t seem too upset about the incident after the game. In fact, he appeared to side with Carlos in appreciating a little back-and-forth with an opposing fan.

“There was a back-and-forth between two grown men,” James continued. “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, maybe. ... The referees did what they had to do.”

But James couldn’t resist taking a dig at Carlos after her outburst.

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