Ric Flair received backlash from fans of Kobe Bryant following the wrestling legend’s appearance at Staples Center for the Lakers’ game against the Pelicans on Tuesday.

Flair, who was sitting courtside addressed the crowd on a microphone with his vibrant persona, said, “Los Angeles, home of the greatest franchise in sports, The LA Lakers. And the home of the greatest athlete in the world today, LeBron James, The King. Lakers, let’s do it!” He finished the promo with multiple “WOOOOO!” yells.


Multiple Kobe fans voiced their displeasure with Flair on Twitter. “This was a huge mistake on behalf of the [Lakers] – they follow up the incredible [Kobe Bryant] tribute hours later by having a fake wrestler from yesteryear on the court giving a shout out to [LeBron James]? Huh?” one user tweeted.

Another fan questioned the timing of Flair’s appearance. “For all the years Ric Flair to be a Laker fan, and the Lakers organization wait until LeBron joins the team to bring in Slick Ric to be a hype man?” another fan tweeted. “Whatta f–ing disgrace. Kareem, Magic and Kobe ‘in God’s hands’ deserved better than this fraudulent s—…”

A third fan claimed, “This is [Kobe Bryant] house!” declared a third Lakers fan. “[LeBron James] never won no chip here. This the type of s— y’all doing now? Kobe’s memorial was just yesterday and Lebron didn’t even attend! He’s the definition of a clout chaser! First y’all get Dwade now this, [NBA on TNT] turning y’all off now!”

Representatives of Flair told The Blast that he was initially hesitant to cut a promo out of respect for Kobe and the other families who died in the helicopter crash, but had a change of heart after discussing the idea with Lakers’ public relations. Reportedly both parties thought it would be a good idea to bring him out to make people smile and the crowd was definitely pumped up by it. Flair’s reps also said that he didn’t mean any disrespect and he had planned to attend the game for his 71st birthday.

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