A glammed up spectator was ejected from an NBA game between the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Lakers on Monday after heckling LeBron James for ‘talking s***’ to her husband.
Juliana Carlos, 25, has been identified as the woman the basketball star dubbed ‘courtside Karen’ after footage showed the moment she took off her mask to shout at him.
She was attending the game with her husband, Atlanta businessman and Hawks fan Chris Carlos, 56, when the altercation took place.
It isn’t clear how the altercation between James and Chris Carlos began.
After the game when asked about the blowup, James indicated that he and Chris Carlos had been having words – perhaps because Carlos was heckling him from the stands.
But Carlos ‘went overboard, he went a little bit out of bounds’, James said.
James appears to have reacted to that before Juliana Carlos stepped in to ‘defend’ her husband.
Hawks CEO Steve Koonin said they are investigating the incident after a total of four fans were ejected from the Atlanta arena.
James took to Twitter afterwards to joke about the incident that caused the game to be halted midway through the fourth quarter.
He wrote: ‘Courtside Karen was MAD MAD!!’ next to a series of emojis showing faces crying with laughter.
Juliana, who has a YouTube channel where she posts makeup tutorials, posted to her Instagram account accusing Lebron of ‘talking shit to her husband.
She said: ‘Just got kicked out of the game for talking shit to LeBron James for talking shit to my fucking husband. This is such fucking bullshit.’
Atlanta is one of nine NBA franchises allowed to host fans this season.
The Lakers went on to win the game on the road, 107-99, but the heated exchange between James and the spectators in the front row stuck out to fans and commentators.
The referees stopped the game after LeBron was heckled by a spectator in Atlanta. pic.twitter.com/apoDqvt4ll
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 2, 2021
Juliana’s husband, Chris, who was also ejected from the game, is a partner in the Republic National Distributing Company, which was formed when his family’s National Distributing Company merged with Republic Beverage in 2007.
Carlos is also a Republican donor, records show, donating to David Perdue in the Georgia senate race.
He has at least one son from a previous relationship, Instagram pictures show, and is understood to be a Hawks fan, calling basketball his ‘favorite sport’ in a recent video.
In a couples Q&A posted to Juliana’s YouTube page they reveal they met on a ‘blind double date’. The couple were then engaged in Mexico.
In 2017 it was reported that Carlos bought a $25 million Miami penthouse.
Chris’ ex wife, Nicole Jockisch Carlos, also went viral at a Hawks game back in January 2017 for an outfit she wore courtside.
New wife Juliana Carlos shared her account Monday’s incident in an expletive-filled video posted to social media after being ejected.
She accused James of ‘cussing out’ her husband from the court: ‘LeBron James looked at my husband during the game and cussed him out.
‘And I stood up and I go, ‘Don’t f***ing talk to my husband. Talk to my husband one more time and I will f**k you up.’
Carlos said James then began verbally fighting with her, allegedly saying: ‘Shut your mouth, dumb b***h.’
To which Carlos said she responded ‘You shut your mouth, dumb b***h’.
In another video posted later that day, Carlos continued disparage James, calling the player ‘a f***ing p***y’.
‘You’re going to let a 25-year-old girl intimidate you during a game? Bye b***h.’
Hawks CEO Koonin said Tuesday: ‘There’s a protocol. The NBA has a code of conduct [placard] on every chair in the building.’
Speaking to reporters after the game, however, James said the fiery exchange, which appears to have started with Chris Carlos, had been blown out of proportion.
‘I don’t want to say he went overboard but he went a little bit out of bounds, a little too close for comfort for me,’ James said, apparently referring to Chris Carlos.
‘It was so close to the officials that I think the official heard it as well, what he said. And it kind of got blown out of proportion.
‘And it’s like sometimes on the floor, when two guys get into a scuffle or get into a little jostling and refs come in and try and break it up really fast and it looks bigger than what it really it is. That’s what it pretty much was tonight.
‘The difference is we’re on the court and we’re not having any alcoholic beverages. They might have had some alcoholic beverages on the side, so that could have – it made him feel tougher than what they really are, I would say.
‘I don’t feel like it was warranted to be kicked out. There was a back-and-forth between two grown men.’
Lakers center Montrezl Harrell said: ‘I guess [Carlos] said something that rubbed the big dawg the wrong way.’
Meanwhile, Lakers coach Frank Vogel highlighted the risk of such an exchange during the coronavirus pandemic.
‘You obviously can’t have fans taking their masks down and shouting at our players during these times.’
James said he enjoyed playing in front of fans again despite the abuse.
‘I love our fans. Laker nation and everybody else that’s against Laker nation.
‘It just feels better. Fans in the stands is just better. It’s better for everybody. Especially on the last game of a 14-day road trip.’