The Los Angeles Lakers’ 105-87 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers got heated in the fourth quarter for non-basketball reasons, as Carmelo Anthony got involved in an argument with fans of the hosts.
During a stoppage in play — and with the Lakers down 16 — Anthony headed to the sidelines, triggered by comments that came from a couple of 76ers fans. The 37-year-old forward got into a brief but seemingly heated exchange with the two men, who stood just behind the courtside seats.
After briefly returning to the court, Anthony then approached another fan, who appeared to heckle him from the end of the courtside row. Philadelphia’s star, Joel Embiid, stepped in to deescalate the situation.
“It is what it is,” Anthony said, asked about his perspective on the incident.
“Some things were said that were unacceptable. I’m cool with fans heckling, fans talking trash cheering for their team. … But when you cross certain lines, as a man that’s what you’re going to see. I’m sure the people that’s in charge will take care of it… My job is done”
Security asked the two unruly spectators who initiated the incident to leave Wells Fargo Center. The third man, who at some point got into a face-to-face staredown with Anthony, appeared to have remained in the arena.
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo, the fan was calling Anthony a “boy” and was relentless with his heckling:
Sixers fan that was ejected for taunting Los Angeles Lakers star Carmelo Anthony kept calling him a “boy” and yelling “get in the corner boy” and “keeping shooting boy,” league sources tell @YahooSports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 28, 2022
The Lakers’ veteran reiterated some of the words aimed at him don’t belong in a sporting arena.
“The only thing that I can do is sometimes you try to play through it,” Anthony said.
“You play through the heckle. That’s all fun and games. I’ve doing that for 19-20 years, especially coming here, it’s a great place to play. I know how the fans are here, but there’s just certain things you don’t bring to any type of sporting event. There’s just certain things you don’t say to anybody.
“If I was outside and I bump into you and you said those things to me, then it would be a totally different story. But again, it’s out of my hands now. However they want to play or not, they can play it.”
Frank Vogel: 76ers fans used ‘unacceptable language’ toward Anthony
After the game, head coach Frank Vogel condemned the behavior of the fans that provoked Anthony in the loss to the 76ers.
“Unacceptable language and unacceptable behavior by fans is the simplest way to put it,” Vogel said.
“There’s got to be a higher standard and hopefully that’s handled the right way.”
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