NBA: Boston Celtics fan hurls water bottle at Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving

  • 31/05/2021

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving has become the latest victim of unruly fan behaviour in the NBA.

After his side obliterated the Boston Celtics in game four of their Eastern Conference playoff series, a water bottle was hurled towards Irving as he left the court.

The fan responsible was quickly identified by Irving's teammates then promptly seized upon by officials and escorted out of the TD Garden. He was arrested and immediately received a lifetime ban from the arena.

During the game, Irving drew jeers from Boston fans every time he touched the ball, as fans vented their frustrations at his early departure from the team back in 2019, when he forced his way out via trade to join the Nets.

The seven-time All Star responded with a superb 39-point performance, then rubbed salt in Boston wounds by wandering towards the middle of the court and wiping his feet on the Celtics logo.

"It's unfortunate that sports has come to a lot of this kind of crossroads," Irving said at the post-game press conference.

"Just underlying racism and just treating people like they're in a human zoo."

The incident comes just days after Wizards guard Russell Westbrook had popcorn thrown on by a fan as he left the court injured in Philadelphia and Hawks star Trae Young was spat at by a courtside fan in New York.

Both fans involved received lifetime bans from the respective arenas.

Irving's teammate Kevin Durant took the opportunity to send a message to fans during his post-game press conference.

"We're not in the circus," Durant says. "Your mother wouldn't be proud of you throwing water bottles at basketball players.

"Grow the f**k up and enjoy the game. It's bigger than you."