The Boston Celtics are in the midst of a playoff run as they play the Washington Wizards in Game 5 of a series which may or may not have any bearing on this years NBA Finals. Kyrie Irving is putting up some great numbers this postseason, and will probably continue to do so, as he led the Celtics to an impressive comeback victory on the road, despite being short handed.
In the midst of a rough season for the Boston Celtics, things took a turn for the strange on Wednesday night. One of the Boston team’s biggest fans was arrested after he threw a water bottle in the direction of Kyrie Irving.
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- Malika Andrews
Close ESPN Staff Writer
- ESPN since 2018
- Appears regularly on ESPN Chicago 1000
- Tim Bontemps
BOSTON – A Boston Celtics fan who threw a water bottle at Kyrie Irving as he left the TD Garden Sunday night following the 141-126 victory over the Brooklyn Nets has been arrested, according to a TD Garden release. The fan was escorted out of the arena by Boston police and arrested for throwing an object, according to the press release. Bottle almost missed Irving, who went to the tunnel after his 39-point game that won the series for Brooklyn over the Celtics 3-1. You can tell that people feel very entitled here, Irving said of the incident. They paid for their tickets – great, I thank them for coming to a great show. But this is not theater. We don’t throw tomatoes and other random things at people performing. 2 Connected We will support and assist the Boston Police Department in the investigation of this incident, a TD Garden spokesperson said in a statement. We do not tolerate violations of our guest code of conduct, and a guest may be banned from the TD Garden for life. This is the latest in a series of incidents where fans threw objects at players or sprayed liquids at players. Last week, a fan in Philadelphia threw a box of popcorn at quarterback Russell Westbrook of the Washington Wizards as he walked through the tunnel of the Wells Fargo Center. Hawks quarterback Trey Young was spat on by a fan at Madison Square Garden. Tee Morant, the father of Memphis Grizzlies quarterback Ja Morant, said several Salt Lake City fans made racist and vulgar remarks about him and his wife while attending a game at Vivint Arena. When the bottle was thrown Sunday night, Irving and teammate Tyler Johnson immediately stopped and looked into the stands. Irving declined to give details of the altercation. You see a lot of old habits coming back, Irving said. It’s been a long time since we’ve heard about entertainment, artists and sports, racism in disguise and treating people like a human zoo. Throws things at people, says things. There is a certain point where it becomes too much. Irving played with fans at TD Garden for the first time this weekend after signing with Brooklyn as a free agent in 2019. Before the Nets’ trip to Boston, Irving, who played two seasons for the Celtics, was asked how he thought he would be received by fans at TD Garden. Irving said he hoped fans would just watch basketball. There is no militancy or racism here; it is subtle racism. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Thursday in a radio interview that he has never heard a player say he has faced racism on the Celtics’ team in the past. I think we take that kind of thing seriously, Ainge said on 98.5 The Sports Hub. I’ve never heard anything like it from a player I had the privilege of playing with during my 26 years in Boston. I had never heard that from Kyrie before, and he and I talked a lot. Well, I don’t know. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t matter. We’re just playing basketball. The players can say whatever they want. Sunday’s bottle-throwing was not the first incident between players and fans in Boston. Two years ago, a TD Garden fan received a two-year suspension for punching center DeMarcus Cousins – then a Golden State Warriors player – during a game on the 26th floor. January 2019 called racist statements. During the investigation, we concluded that the fan offended Golden State’s bench, but none of the parties interviewed could confirm the use of racial slurs, and the video evidence was inconclusive, the Celtics said in a statement about the underage fan. The Celtics said the fan will be suspended for two years following the investigation. Current Nets star Kevin Durant was on the Warriors team with Cousins, and Irving was still playing for the Celtics at the time. At some point, fans have to grow up, Durant said after Sunday’s game. I know that a year and a half of pandemic has made a lot of people nervous and stressed, but when you go to these games, you have to understand that these people are people. We’re not animals, we’re not in a circus. Your attendance at a game doesn’t just depend on you as a fan. So have some respect for the game. Respect people and respect yourself. Your mom won’t be proud of you if you throw water bottles at the basketball players, spit on the players, or throw popcorn. So finally grow up and enjoy the game. It’s bigger than you.