Before he and the Los Angeles Lakers took on the rival Celtics in Boston on Monday night, LeBron James attended his son Bronny's game with Sierra Canyon at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield. Unfortunately, the game came with a bit of a blemish for the James family.
In the second half of action, the game had to be briefly stopped as a fan threw something at James Jr. as he was standing on the sideline waiting to inbound the ball. The object hit Bronny in the back, at which time the referee immediately stopped play and called for a nearby police officer to try and identify the perpetrator. The fan was not removed from the game, and no further incidents occurred, per ESPN.
After the game, LeBron responded to the situation on Twitter.
"Hating has no age limit," he wrote. "[James gang] is built for it and well equipped. As we proceed."
James also discussed the incident with media members following the Lakers' 139-107 loss to the Celtics.
"I didn't see it or hear it, actually. While I was on the opposite side of the floor, I did see the referee stop the game or stop the inbound, and the cop came up there," James said. "I didn't even know what happened until the video evidence showed me when I got here ... It's just disrespectful, and it was a little kid, too. I don't know how old that little kid was, so I don't know if he learned that on his own or if he learned it at home. Whatever the case may be, it's disrespectful."
As it turns out, the item thrown was an orange peel, and the child that tossed it owned up and apologized for his actions in a video posted to YouTube.
The following description was also posted along with the video (sic):
I'm sorry @james family for what I did , I'm a huge fan and I was just trying to get bronnys attention I didn't want to hurt anyone, I was actually there at Springfield college during hoophall I'm not lying or trying to "get clout " I was in the front area seats the people around me were not my parents my parents were sitting a couple seats away because I wanted to sit closer , I was calling out bronnys name and just wanted him to see me the security never threw me out they never knew it was me but my mom still took me home we knew I was wrong and it not a good thing to do , believe me or not I want to send out an apology to bronny because me and my family discussed it and knew it was the right thing to do.
Regardless of who the perpetrator was, James Jr. wasn't fazed, according to his teammates.
"He never lets anybody faze him. You'd be surprised all the stuff he has to go through," senior Ziaire Williams said. "It's not fair, you know. He doesn't let it faze him at all. Really, I learned that from him. Honestly, he teaches me about that stuff, and he's younger than me."
"He's good with it," senior B.J. Boston added. "He just comes in every day, ready to work, get better every day. Not worried about the outside and just plays his game."
Being criticized -- and heckled -- is a byproduct of success and attention when you're playing basketball at the highest levels. LeBron learned this over the years, and it seems like he has passed the lesson down to his son. At least in this particular situation, the orange peel wasn't thrown in a malicious manner.