Carlos, who was sitting courtside, was forced to leave the game in the fourth quarter after him and his wife, Juliana, got into a verbal spat with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James. The game temporarily paused before the couple and two others were forced to leave the arena.
The Hawks, who continue to host limited capacity, say they’re working with NBA security on the incident that sparked online debate whether courtside seats should be allowed amid the ongoing pandemic. Juliana Carlos, who was at the center of the exchange, took to social media to share her side of the story. James said after the Lakers’ 107-99 win that there was indeed a “back-and-forth” with Carlos but didn’t think the heckling warranted an ejection.
Carlos, an Atlanta native and longtime Hawks fan, is a Board of Directors member and partner of Republic National Distributing Co., which is the second largest distributor of premium wine and spirits in the nation. It is second only to Miami-based Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, which distributes in 36 states.
Republic National Distributing Co. had $11 billion revenue in 2019, according to Forbes. Carlos, who served as executive vice president of affiliate National Distributing Co., paid $25 million for a Bal Harbour penthouse that he’s now selling.
Carlos is a trustee of Atlanta Ballet and was named “Philanthropist of the Year” by the Atlanta chapter of the Association of Fund-Raising Professionals in 2016. Carlos also sits on the board of various nonprofits including Atlanta Police Foundation and Emory University’s Michael C. Carlos Museum.