LeBron James enjoyed an eventful return to action as the LA Lakers star recorded a season-high points tally against the Indiana Pacers while ordering two fans to be ejected from their courtside seats.
Returning from a first-ever career suspension for his clash with Isaiah Stewart, James was dominant as he racked up 39 points in the Lakers’ 124-116 overtime win against the Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Wednesday night.
But James’ scoring exploits weren’t the only the thing which made the headlines. With 2:29 remaining in overtime, an angry James called referee Rodney Mott over the sidelines and pointed out two fans in the font row.
Officials then went over to the pair and after a brief discussion they were escorted from their seats.
The male member of the duo initially held up his hands before both fans got to their feet and made their way from courtside. As she did so, the woman pouted and rubbed her eyes in a mock crying gesture.
James didn’t elaborate on the details on the incident afterwards but said the fans’ actions were “outside the line with obscene gestures and words.”
“When obscene gestures and language come into it, (it) can’t be tolerated,” James added.
“There’s a difference from cheering for your team and not wanting the other team to win and things I would never say to a fan and they shouldn’t say to me.”
Online, basketball fans had mixed feelings about the episode. Some dubbed James ‘LeSnitch’ as the term began trending on Twitter.
And yes, we definitely will talk about the LeSnitch incident that happened at tonight’s game in Indianapolis.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) November 25, 2021
.@KingJames is an entitled crybaby who can’t take fans criticizing him during games…But has ZERO ISSUES with communists using slaves to make his shoes.
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) November 25, 2021
However, others said the full details still weren’t known and that the fans may well have crossed the line with their remarks.
Lebron james is the greatest player of all time with all due respect
— Mark Jackson’s Burner (@casualtakeking) November 25, 2021
Crazy y’all don’t know what was said ……y’all don’t let anyone talk crazy to you but lebron suppose to let anyone say whatever to him
— Savage (@Savageraven88) November 25, 2021
The incident failed to take too much shine off James’ performance as the Lakers improved to 10-10 with their victory.