Thursday, April 7, 2011
Updated: April 8, 10:22 AM ET
LeBron James' mom arrested at hotel
ESPN.com news services
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- Gloria James, the mother of Miami Heat basketball star LeBron James, was arrested by Miami Beach police after she reportedly assaulted a valet worker because it was taking too long to have her car delivered.
After practice on Thursday, when asked about the incident, LeBron James said he was being helped with the situation and called it a personal matter.
Police said Gloria James, 43, had a strong odor of alcohol on her breath and her eyes were bloodshot when officers arrived at the Fontainebleau Hotel at about 4:47 a.m. ET Thursday.
Police said several witnesses supported valet worker Sorel Rockfeller's account of the alleged assault.
Rockfeller told reporters James slapped him in the face and that he was planning to sue her.
"When she finished slapping me, she fell down on the floor," Rockfeller said.
Rockfeller said he was slapped "very hard, very hard."
"I'm very, very humiliated because she told me again, 'Do you know who I am?' when she slapped me," Rockfeller said.
Gloria James was taken to the Miami Beach police department, where she was issued a "promise to appear" on charges of simple battery and disorderly conduct. A police report says she was released to Heat executive Steve Stowe.
"It's very sensitive because it's your mother, of course," LeBron James said Thursday after practice. "People around me are helping me, helping her."
James said he was at home at the time of his mother's arrest after dealing with Miami's 90-85 loss at home to the Milwaukee Bucks.
"You have to move forward," James said. "It is my life. Just try to not let things be a distraction. I have a job to do. It's a personal matter that's being taken care of. She's fine."
Gloria James was arrested on drunken driving charges in 2006 in Akron, Ohio. She was given a suspended sentence, fined and ordered to complete a drug and alcohol class after pleading no contest to reckless operation, speeding, disorderly conduct and physical control of a motor vehicle under the influence.
LeBron James took about six questions from reporters about his mother before he asked that the focus shift to basketball-related matters, as the Heat prepare for Friday's home game against the Charlotte Bobcats.
The key issue on the court for the Heat remains Dwyane Wade's uncertain status.
Wade missed Wednesday's game with a deep right thigh bruise, but said he is making progress with therapy. Wade was on the court for parts of Thursday's practice and will be re-evaluated before Friday's game.
Dealing with injuries and off-court issues is nothing new for the Heat, who have had to minimize distractions throughout the season.
"A lot of these other things are ancillary distractions if we let them be," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "If we don't [get distracted], then we can focus on what's real."
ESPN.com NBA writers Michael Wallace and Brian Windhorst and The Associated Press contributed to this report.