Sports

Charles Barkley, Shaq react to 76ers fans heckling Lakers’ Carmelo Anthony: ‘That ain’t gonna stop me’

Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony had heard enough from a few 76ers fans at the Wells Fargo Center.

During the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s game between Los Angeles and Philadelphia, Anthony got into a verbal altercation with some Sixers fans. After a stoppage in play, the 37-year-old walked directly toward the sideline and confronted the fans standing behind a row of courtside seats.

MORE: Shaq goes on off Ben Simmons, calls 76ers star “crybaby”

Officials stepped in front of Anthony, and security guards approached the fans in order to de-escalate the situation. Anthony also exchanged words with another fan standing near the corner of the court.

Anthony told reporters after the Lakers’ 105-87 loss that he heard fans calling him “boy” and noted multiple groups of people made inappropriate comments. Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported one fan was yelling “get in the corner, boy” and “keep shooting, boy.”

“Some things were said. [It’s] unacceptable,” Anthony said. “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.”

On the “NBA on TNT” postgame show, Ernie Johnson asked the panel of Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith for their thoughts on the situation and how they would have responded. Barkley suggested Anthony overreacted because “you can’t be thin-skinned in sports.” 

“I ain’t gonna get upset [if] somebody calls me boy,” Barkley said. “Come on, man. Stop tripping. Listen, I believe — that, to me, is no big deal, some guy calling me a boy.”

Smith believed Anthony shouldn’t have accepted the heckling and declared he had no problem with unruly fans being removed by security guards. O’Neal disagreed with Smith, saying only someone who is “soft” would call for the ejection of a fan.

“When you’re warriors like me and Chuck, that don’t bother you anyway. … When you’re warriors like us, that ain’t gonna stop me,” O’Neal said. “Let me tell you something, brother. Playing in Texas, playing in the SEC, I heard it all. It ain’t gotta be right. That ain’t gonna stop me.”

A 76ers spokesperson told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin that one fan was ejected from the game and any additional discipline would be handed down by the Wells Fargo Center. When asked if he was told about any possible suspensions for the fans involved, Anthony said the next steps were “out of my hands.”

“That’s not up to me. I’m not in control of that,” Anthony said. “The only thing that I can do is — sometimes you play through it. You try to play through certain things. You play through the heckling, but that’s all fun and games. I’ve been doing that for 19, 20 years, especially coming here, it’s been a great place to come and play. The fans, 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 bumped into you, and you said those things to me, then it would be a totally different story.”

24 hours after the game, reports indicate that the 76ers seemed to have made decisions about the fan. 

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