LeBron James had an amazing performance against the Indiana Pacers, tallying 39 points and leading the Lakers to a win during overtime. However, there were some negatives during the game.
A pair of heckling Pacers fans were ejected by the referee after a complaint made by LeBron James. It was unclear why LeBron James asked the fans to be removed from the arena at first. However, during a postgame interview, LeBron James stated that "obscene gestures and words" cannot be tolerated, when asked about those fans. (5:30)
I mean nothing's uncomfortable for me. It's a difference between cheering for your home faithful... not wanting your opponents to be successful. Then there's moments where it goes outside the line. With obscene gestures and words that shouldn't be tolerated in our game. I would never say it to a fan, and a fan should never say it to a player.
There is no question that there are times where fans genuinely come up with creative chants that throw off the opponent without being offensive. However, it seems as though the fans that LeBron James interacted with using the "obscene gestures and words" that James mentions. As James mentions, "nothing's uncomfortable" for him, and it generally does take saying something egregious to get ejected from an NBA game as a fan.
Despite the negativity from the incident, LeBron James did have a stellar performance, with a great dagger in overtime. Perhaps the incident added more fuel to the desire to beat the Pacers. What matters now though, is that the Los Angeles Lakers move on, and start looking forward to their next game against the Sacramento Kings.
It remains to be seen what the league will do in regards to the two Pacers fans. Obviously, every situation is different, but we've seen fans get banned from arenas for doing inappropriate things during games before. Perhaps we'll hear more about this situation in the future.