Ric Flair loves putting on a show, but he knows there's a time and place for everything. The 16-time pro wrestling champion attended the Los Angeles Lakers game, where he introduced the team, including LeBron James. TMZ caught up with Flair, who said he was hesitant to do it because the game was one day after the Staples Center, home of the Lakers, held the public memorial service for Kobe Bryant and Gianna who died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.
"I felt a little bad that close to the memorial that was so overwhelming on Monday," Flair said to TMZ. "But, they asked me and I said 'Are you guys sure?' and they said 'Yeah, please. The crowd needs to be pumped up a little bit.'"
Flair is loved by millions of people all over the world. But Lakers fans had an issue with his intro.
"Los Angeles, home of the greatest franchise in sports, The LA Lakers," Flair began. "And the home of the greatest athlete in the world today, LeBron James, The King."
"Lakers, let's do it!" he added as he ended the intro with his famous "Wooooooo" cheer.
"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 person reacted on Twitter.
"This is [Kobe Bryant] house!" another fan added. "[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!"0comments
Fans are still hurting from the death of Bryant, but the memorial service was to help people say goodbye and move on, which is what his wife Vanessa and the three daughters are looking to do.
"Vanessa is overwhelmed with the outpouring of love her and her family received," the source said to Entertainment Tonight. "It was the perfect tribute to Kobe and Gigi. Vanessa knows the grieving process will be long and hard but Monday's tribute helped her and her family during a rough time."