Los Angeles Lakers’ Carmelo Anthony calls fan taunts in Sixers loss ‘unacceptable’


PHILADELPHIA — Carmelo Anthony took issue with some fans’ taunting of him during the Los Angeles Lakers’ 105-87 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday, saying the harassment was “unacceptable.” The incidents prompted referees and players from both teams to intervene during the match.

With 7 minutes and 1 second remaining in the fourth quarter, Anthony faced a fan standing behind the row of seats near center court at the Wells Fargo Center. Anthony said afterwards that the fan called him “boy”.

Play was halted for several minutes as security personnel advanced to the scene of the confrontation and the referees guided Anthony away from the incident.

“Some things have been said,” Anthony said afterwards. “Unacceptable. I’m cool with fans heckling, fans talking trash, cheering on their team, booing the other team, I’m all for it. But when you cross certain lines, as a man, you just, that’s what you’re gonna see. That’s what you’re gonna get, like you saw there.

While things were being worked out, another fan sitting pitchside also taunted Anthony using similarly offensive language, according to Anthony.

Sixers center Joel Embiid came to Anthony’s side when the field fan tried to make things worse.

“I was just trying to calm things down because they were just going back and forth, and I really wanted to go home and finish the game,” Embiid said. “So, yeah, that’s what I wanted, to calm things down so we could play and move on.”

A Sixers spokesperson told ESPN that a fan was ejected and the Wells Fargo Center would be in charge of any further discipline. An email to ESPN’s Wells Fargo Center security was not immediately returned.

Anthony said he would accept any further action taken to resolve the incident, but added that it would be “out of his hands”.

“Unacceptable language and unacceptable behavior from fans is the easiest way to put it,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “There needs to be a higher standard. And hopefully it gets handled the right way.”

Lakers guard Russell Westbrook, who has had several in-game misfortunes caused by inappropriate fan behavior over the years – including in Philadelphia in 2016 and 2021 – said fans on Thursday night might have “crossed the line.” line”.

While Philadelphia sports fans certainly have a reputation, Anthony said Thursday’s incident didn’t align with his past experiences with the city as a visiting player.

“You play through the heckling. But it’s just fun and games,” he said. “I mean, I’ve been doing this for 19, 20 years. Especially playing here, it’s a great place to come and play. And the fans, I know how the fans are here.

“But there are just some things that you don’t bring to any type of sporting event. There are just some things that you don’t tell anyone. If I was outside and met you and you told me these things, then it would be a totally different story.”


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