Kyrie Irving is the latest player to face harassment from an NBA fan.
After Irving lost 39 points to the Celtics in the Nets’ 141-126 victory, the team’s star guard was heading to the locker room when a Boston fan threw a bottle of water at him.
MORE: Kyrie Irving hoping to avoid “subtle racism” in Boston
Here’s a look at the incident, via the YES Network.
Irving came out unscathed from the water bottle toss, but was understandably upset with what had happened. As a result, he called out NBA fans amid his recent streak of bad behavior in the arena.
“It is unfortunate that the sport has reached many of these crossroads where many old ways are emerging,” Irving told reporters after the game. “It has been that way in history in terms of entertainment, artists, and sports for a long period of time, simply underlying racism and treating people as if they were in a human zoo.
“Throwing things at people and saying things. It’s a certain point where it gets too much. I called him, I just wanted to keep it strictly basketball. But then you see people feel really good here. They paid for their tickets – great, I’m grateful they come to see a great performance.
“But we are not in the theater. We are not throwing tomatoes and other random things at people who are acting. It is too much.”
MORE: Why did Kyrie Irving leave the Celtics in 2019?
While Kevin Durant was willing to acknowledge that the pandemic has left a lot of people “nervous,” he largely echoed Irving’s sentiments and told fans to “grow up the bitch.”
“The fans grew up at some point. I know that being in the house for a year and a half with the pandemic made a lot of people nervous, it stressed a lot of people, but when you come to these games, you have to realize that these men are human. “Durant said,” We are not animals, we are not in the circus. Coming to the game isn’t just about you as a fan.
“Have some respect for human beings and have some respect for yourself. Your mother wouldn’t be proud of you throwing bottles of water at basketball players or spitting or throwing popcorn at them. So grow up and enjoy the game, it’s bigger than you. “
Of course, the reference to the popcorn Durant made is about the 76ers fan who threw popcorn at Russell Westbrook during Game 2 of the 76ers vs. Wizards. And the spitting incident occurred between Trae Young and a Knicks fan on the Hawks vs. Knicks.
Additionally, Jazz fans made racist and vulgar comments to Ja Morant’s family in the first two games of his series with the Grizzlies.
MORE: Jaylen Brown Offers Thoughtful Statement On Kyrie Irving’s Racist Comments
So what happened in Boston on Sunday night is not an isolated problem. Still, that doesn’t excuse fan behavior, and Celtics star Jayson Tatum acknowledged it while supporting most of the Boston fans who attended the game.
“I mean, 18,000 people in a building. I guess in any field there are some bad seeds, ”Tatum said. “I don’t want that to overshadow the rest of the fans who came out and supported us tonight. I was extremely happy to see that, but obviously, there is no place in the NBA to throw bottles or throw something at a player. So I’m sure they’ll take care of that right away. “
And they did. The fan was allegedly arrested and faces a lifetime suspension from TD Garden.
Still, Durant made clear that the Nets, who lead the Celtics 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, hope they won’t have to return to Boston any time soon.
“We know what these people are like here in Boston,” Durant said. “We know how passionate they are for Kyrie in particular. And they’re still mad at him. That’s not a reason for them to act like kids, but we don’t need to talk about it. We know what’s coming here already.
“I’m glad I got the W and I hope we don’t have to come back here this year.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.