Kyrie Irving didn’t get the warmest welcome at his former home court on Sunday night.
Boston Celtics fans were the talk of the NBA for much of last week, as their return in full throat at TD Garden with Kyrie Irving taking the floor with the Brooklyn Nets was highly anticipated. Much of that anticipation wasn’t for very great reasons, and after a Game 4 loss on Sunday night, we saw more unfortunate fan behavior from fans on Causeway Street.
Boston, sans Kemba Walker and Robert Williams, struggled to keep pace with a fully-optimized Nets team, falling further behind in the series after a 141-126 Game 4 loss at the Garden to put the Celtics on the brink of elimination. After the game, and after a week of discussions about racist and abusive behavior from fans in Boston and across the NBA, cameras caught a water bottle thrown at Irving’s head as he left the Garden floor.
Someone threw a water bottle at Kyrie's head. Clown. pic.twitter.com/Yd5Dn20SXd
— Talkin’ Nets (@TalkinNets) May 31, 2021
The bottle appears to have missed Irving, but both the TV broadcast and other Nets players and staff leaving the floor immediately took notice of the bottle and, hopefully, the person who threw it. Throwing anything at a player is grounds for an ejection from a venue at the very least, and given the attention Irving’s return to Boston after a tumultuous tenure with the Celtics, this is absolutely unacceptable.
The fan has been detained.
A fan in Boston has been arrested and banned for life from TD Garden for throwing a water bottle at Nets star Kyrie Irving in postgame tunnel tonight.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 31, 2021
Charles Barkley on Celtics fan who threw water bottle at Kyrie Irving "Look at that punk ass, just take him down stairs at let Kyrie handle that pic.twitter.com/b9a53BvGQt
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) May 31, 2021
Brooklyn Net’s superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie spoke out on the incident.
"We're not in a circus. … Grow the f— up and enjoy the game."
—KD after a fan in Boston threw a water bottle at Kyrie pic.twitter.com/AY4RJL3viY
— ESPN (@espn) May 31, 2021
"It's unfortunate that sports has come to a lot of this kind of crossroads. … Just underlying racism and just treating people like they're in a human zoo."
Kyrie Irving speaks out after a fan threw a water bottle at him in Boston. pic.twitter.com/IXfE8I0EE8
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 31, 2021