LeBron James just can't avoid getting into controversies. His comeback after a one-match suspension on Wednesday night went worse after he got two young Indiana Pacers fans kicked out of the arena claiming that they used "abusive language". The Lakers star was just two minutes away from seeing his team sealing a win against the Pacers at Indianapolis when he stopped the game.
This was James' first game after his one-game suspension for bloodying Pistons forward Isaiah Stewart. The LA Lakers won 126-116. Stewart, who was suspended for two games, was tossed from Monday night's game for getting into an altercation with James.
James Does it Again
The video of the match shows James halting the game just two minutes away from the final whistle and calling the referee. He then brings the referees over to two fans sitting on the side of the court at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
He then loses his temper and is heard telling the referee to remove two young fans from the courtside. Pointing at them and yelling he says, "this one right fâking here!" The fans, a young man and woman were then asked to leave with 2:29 left in overtime.
An official asked the two to leave, and the shocked-looking pair without protesting stood up and left their seats. However, the female fan took it sportingly and was seen on the broadcast doing a sarcastic pout and rubbing away fake tears.
It is still not clear what the fans did or say that left James fuming. Officials also haven't said anything on the incident but many are shocked with James' action in his comeback match.
James reportedly said after the game that obscene gestures and words would not be tolerated and the two young fans used obscene gesture, according to TMZ.
"I would never say it to a fan and a fan should never say it to a player," he said. The Lakers won the game in overtime 124 to 116.
James also gave the Pacers and their fans a lot more to be unhappy about on the court with the Lakers playing without Anthony Davis (flu-like symptoms). He finished with 39 points on 13 of 29 shooting and had six assists and five rebounds while hitting two backbreaking 3-pointers in the extra session to help even the Lakers' record at 10-10.
That said, James had earlier also got spectators and fans ejected from the courtside. This is just the latest in the long list of his controversies. And that too comes just after his suspension.
Footage from Sunday's game shows James slamming Stewart in the face with his left arm and fist as they grappled for position during a free throw.
Stewart could be seen dropping to the court clutching his face, and James appeared to acknowledge the collision, turning toward Stewart with his hand extended in an apparent gesture of apology.