Washington, DC—LeBron James is a fiery competitor, both on the basketball court and in the court of European economics, too, apparently. And this was put on full display to the world last week when security had to escort a fan out of the stands after a heated exchange with the NBA player.
Rob Monroe, the fan in question, made a political and economical remark to James that James clearly didn’t agree with, causing the two to almost come to blows during a Miami Heat victory over the Washington Wizards.
According to fans seated near Monroe, when James came within earshot early in the first quarter, he shouted, “the new measures (approved by Greek Parliament) will condemn the Greek economy to a deep downward spiral!”
The statement seemed to have taken James aback, but not for long. “This latest austerity bill is designed to stave off bankruptcy for (the country), you jackass,” James said. That’s when things turned really ugly.
According to statements to arena security made by Monroe, James said to him, “The only reason you talk s— is because you know I can’t come off the court right now and beat your a–. The government the Greek people elected had to make a tough decision to save the (economy of the) entire country,” James continued, “But if I had a free pass, I’d kick your a– right now.”
Monroe then replied, “I’m right here baby. Let’s go. Let’s talk lowering minimum wage and eliminating welfare, you spoiled jerk!”
Security then intervened, escorting Monroe from the stands to a mixture of applause and boos.
After the game, James responded to reporters about the incident, “I felt I needed to say something. As I said before, you have to draw the line somewhere. Fans can say whatever they want to say. But there are times when it’s not right. I had to say something.”
It is unclear if James will face any penalty from the league.