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LeBron James gets fined for obscene gesture, warned about profanity by NBA

The Lakers star claimed two fans were using profanity and making obscene gestures before he had them ejected Wednesday night.
Credit: AP
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James reacts after hitting a shot during overtime of in the team's NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

NEW YORK — The NBA has fined LeBron James for making an obscene gesture in a game, moments after he had a pair of Indiana fans ejected from a game for the same offense.

James was fined $15,000 for the act, which came in overtime of the Los Angeles Lakers' 124-116 win at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Wednesday. 

According to the league, the offending gesture came with 1:17 left in the fourth quarter after James made a three-pointer that gave the Lakers a 110-104 lead. Videos from the game posted to social media show that James made the gesture toward the crowd as he ran back down the court.

The Lakers lead didn't hold up, however, and Indiana's Chris Duarte forced overtime with a three-pointer in the closing seconds.

With 2:29 to play in the extra session, James pulled referee Rodney Mott toward two fans sitting courtside. While it's not clear what James or the fans said before or during the incident, a pair of security guards walked the fans out of the arena.

James explained what happened after the game, without going into specific detail.

“When obscene gestures and language come into it, can’t be tolerated,” James said to reporters after the game. “There’s a difference from cheering for your team and not wanting the other team to win and things I would never say to a fan and they shouldn’t say to me.”

The league also warned James for his use of profanity when speaking with the media about a one-game suspension he received for an altercation with Detroit's Isaiah Stewart. James hit the Pistons' center in the face and drew blood in a game on Sunday, Nov. 21. Stewart was suspended two games for his reaction to the incident.

James served his suspension during the Lakers' game against the New York Knicks on Tuesday night.