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A brief history of heckling LeBron James -- and its consequences

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Fan orders LeBron to 'suck it up' (0:14)

LeBron James got some advice from an unlikely place -- the stands of the Thunder-Cavaliers game. (0:14)

You've seen her by now: The courtside Oklahoma City Thunder fan who caused a minor tempest on Sunday by telling LeBron James to suck it up as he lobbied an official for a call.

The moment went viral, as these things do, because her passion and earnestness were a bit silly. But it's hardly novel. When you're one of the world's best and most polarizing players, you're a big target.

For all the remarks that go unheard or, like this one, roll off James' back, certain instances have provoked James in ways that have proven to range from ill-considered to disastrous for the heckler.

Here's a brief timeline.

Feb. 21, 2016

During Sunday's game, a fan reported to be Oklahoma billionaire Judy Love is caught on camera yelling "Just suck it up, LeBron!" in second quarter of ABC's Sunday showcase game between the Thunder and Cavaliers.

Consequence? James finished three rebounds shy of a triple-double, and the Cavs cruised to an easy win. He later posted the video to Instagram with the caption: "I guess she told me!! Hahahaha #JustSuckItUpLeBron #NoMomo #Classic."

Dec. 25, 2015

A Christmas Day showdown in the Bay Area is overshadowed when James catches a courtside Warriors fan ostensibly calling him a crybaby -- complete with whiny pantomime. It was just as awkward as it sounds.

Consequence? The Cavaliers were dealt a narrow loss, but it was due more to poor shooting than anything else. James finished 10-for-26 from the field. At the time, however, the vibe around Cleveland was a quiet confidence they could hang with Golden State. (It's worth mentioning the Warriors thoroughly dismantled them the following month in Cleveland.)

Dec. 6, 2015

In December, with the Cavaliers in Miami, James missed his first game of the season due to rest. His former home fans were unimpressed, chanting "LeBron is tired" as the Heat stretched their lead to 20 points in the fourth quarter.

Consequence? James first shrugged off the chant, then held up his left hand and rubbed his ring as a not-so-subtle reminder who helped deliver two of them to the city. As silent comebacks go, it was magnificent.

June 7, 2015

After Game 2 of the NBA Finals, in which James and the Cavaliers muscled to an overtime upset win to tie the series, a Warriors fan yelled some rather unprintable things at James as he walked toward the locker room. Her voice was caught on the broadcast mics.

Consequence? Considering James had just dropped a 39/16/11 triple-double on the Warriors, the heckle held little weight, but it did earn a scowl from The King. The real hero of the moment was the Oracle Arena security guard, who also overheard the fan and responded strongly: "Watch your mouth, woman!"

Feb. 11, 2011

Just before Valentine's Day, a heckler in Detroit yelled something suggestive about James' mother. With James' kids sitting near the Heat's bench, James confronted the heckler: "What did you say to me?"

When the fan repeated his remark, James fired back.

"I don't care what you say to me. I don't give a [expletive] what you say. But don't be disrespectful."

Consequence? The aftershock of the moment sparked a national conversation about where the line should be drawn in regards to trash talk and if and when athletes should respond. James made his thoughts clear.

"Fans can say whatever they want to say. But there are times when it's not right. I had to say something." James said. "My kids were there." The moment was bigger than the score, but James won that battle too: Heat 106, Pistons 92.

Jan. 6, 2008

Arguably the most memorable and entertaining moment on this list came in 2008, when the Cavaliers traveled north to Toronto. As James struggled through three quarters, a group of hecklers stayed on him.

Consequence? James ignited. He set a franchise-record with 24 points in the fourth quarter alone, willing the Cavs back from a 20-point deficit to a win. The best part? The heckling came from Chris Bosh's girlfriend and relatives, a year before Bosh and James would become teammates.

"They know LeBron, we all know each other and it wasn't anything personal," Bosh told reporters the next day. "I saw a lot of people were trying to make a big deal out of it, but they probably don't know that we all know each other. We all talked after the game and it was cool."

"I told [Bosh's girlfriend] it was her fault why they lost," James said after the game.


Those are only examples from fans. Last May, another run-in between James and Bulls center Joakim Noah offered an opportunity for James to reveal his mentality when it comes to trash talking.

"The best way to retaliate is by making a play," James said. "That's the only way I know how to resolve things is by making a play to help our team."

Heavy lies the crown.