A fan threw a water bottle at Kyrie Irving after the Brooklyn Nets’ 141-126 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of their first round playoff series. Fortunately, the bottle did not hit Irving, but this another incident of bad fan behavior and quite untimely given Kyrie’s remarks earlier in the week about the Celtics’ crowd.
Here’s video of the incident.
As Kyrie Irving was leaving the floor at TD Garden a fan threw a water bottle at him pic.twitter.com/r6GeIvtt3I— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) May 31, 2021
The Nets now have a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Irving had his best game of the playoffs so far, finishing with 39 points and 11 rebounds.
The fan has since been arrested and received a lifetime banned from TD Garden in Boston. He faces battery charges:
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
The 21-year-old male who threw a water bottle at Kyrie Irving faces assault and battery with a dangerous weapon charge and will be arraigned on Tuesday, Boston PD say.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 31, 2021
A second fan in Boston was also arrested Sunday night due to assault and battery of a police offer. https://t.co/lHhMiV4ur5
Here is what Kyrie had to say about the incident after the game.
Kyrie Irving on water bottle throwing: "It's been that way in history, in terms of entertainment, performers and sports, for a long period of time of just underlying racism and just treating people like they're in a human zoo." pic.twitter.com/Wsn6syXQLY— John Chandler (@JohnChandlerNBC) May 31, 2021
Kevin Durant also had remarks about what happened.
Ahead of Game 3, Irving mentioned that he hoped the crowd would keep things “strictly basketball.” He was alluding to racism he had experienced from Celtics fans over the years as an opponent in their city. Here are Irving’s full comments before making his return to Boston for the series.
Kyrie Irving on returning to Boston for Game 3— Craig Kolodny (@NBCBostonCraig) May 26, 2021
"Hopefully we can just keep it strictly basketball. There's no belligerence or any racism going on, or subtle racism. People yelling s**t from the crowd."#Celtics @NBC10Boston @RaulNBCBoston pic.twitter.com/jNT5hiSUwf
This conversation about fan behavior was timely as there had been multiple stories of poor fan behavior that week. First there was the popcorn dumped on Russell Westbrook in Game 2 of the Wizards-76ers series. Then a fan spit at Trae Young in New York. There was also the racist taunting to Ja Morant’s family in Utah. Each of these incidents were addressed, fans were disciplined by their respective franchises, and many hoped the bad behavior was behind us, but that was not the case.
Game 5 of the Celtics-Nets series is on Tuesday as Brooklyn looks to advance in the playoffs with a win.