Carmelo Anthony explains why he had 76ers fans ejected
Two fans who were sitting courtside for the Los Angeles Lakers-Philadelphia 76ers game were ejected for getting into it with Carmelo Anthony on Thursday night, and Anthony says he was fine with the trash talk until it crossed the line.
Anthony confronted a fan at the Wells Fargo Center with around seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Play was paused for several minutes while security identified the fan. Two fans were eventually escorted out of the arena after Anthony says they used “unacceptable” language toward him. You can see the video here.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that one of the fans kept calling Anthony “boy” and yelling things like “keep shooting boy.” Anthony confirmed that while speaking with reporters after the game. He said he has no problem with fans heckling until it crosses “certain lines.”
“Some things were said,” Anthony told the media, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “Unacceptable. I’m cool with fans heckling, fans talking trash, cheering for their team, booing the other team, I’m all for that. But when you cross certain lines, as a man, you just, that’s what you’re going to see. That’s what you’re going to get, as you saw there.”
One of the fans who was escorted out was black. The two fans appeared to be friends and seated with one another. It is unclear which of the two used the language that Anthony implied was racist.
“There’s just certain things you don’t say to anybody,” Anthony added. “If I was outside and I bumped into you and you said those things to me, then it would be a totally different story.”
TNT’s announcers said the fan or fans had been riding Carmelo for several possessions before that was stopped. A video showed some of the interaction prior to the confrontation, but it was unclear exactly what was said.
It has become a trend in the NBA for fans to be ejected after players call them out for heckling. Anthony may have been following LeBron James’ lead. LeBron had some fans tossed out of a game earlier this season after they were riding him.
Photo: Nov 27, 2019; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers power forward Carmelo Anthony (00) warms up prior to tip off against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports