'Obscene gesture right to my face': What more is known about the unruly fans who sat courtside
With 2:29 left in OT, LeBron James singled out two Pacers fans to official Rodney Mott and they were removed from their seats.
Section CRT-H, Row 1.
Seats 17 and 18.
Those are the seats at the center of Pacers conversations right now. The two who were occupying those seats Wednesday night at Gainbridge Fieldhouse began the game in the seats, but they didn’t finish it there.
A young man and woman, who appeared to be in their 20s, were booted from the seats with 2:29 to play in overtime of what became a 124-116 Pacers loss to the Lakers.
It is not clear what was done that caught the attention of Lakers star LeBron James. But it happened on the defensive possession prior to when he made the officials aware of it.
Something was gestured by the woman with 2:44 on the clock. James shouted towards the closest official, Matt Kallio, who was 20 feet away near mid-court and could not hear in the loud of environment.
After Malik Monk was whistled for a discontinued dribble with 2:29 remaining, James got the attention of crew chief Rodney Mott and walked him to the seats. Then pointing at her, James clearly said, “it’s right fucking here! Obscene gesture right to my face!”
That last sentence is important considering the rumors that have spread across social media about what happened. An obscene gesture, not something that was said. Both the man and woman had gestured something, but it’s inconclusive from the overhead broadcast angle.
Two sources nearby for the situation told Fieldhouse Files they did not hear what was said. Also, they noted that James told one of the officials that the chatter from those two happened all game. It was specifically directed at both James and Carmelo Anthony.
The fans were removed from their courtside seats by the official, not by building security. And then they were led elsewhere by John Ball, the vice president of security and event services at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
Here’s what James told me about the incident afterward.
“There’s a difference between cheering on your home faithful, booing opponents and things of that nature, not wanting your opponents to be successful,” he said. “And then there’s moments where it goes outside the line with obscene gestures and words that shouldn’t be tolerated in our game from nobody. I would never say it to a fan and a fan should never say it to a player.”