Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant sound off on Celtics fan who threw water bottle: 'Grow the f— up'

Written By Jacob Camenker
Kyrie-Irving-053121-GETTY-FTR
(Getty Images)

Kyrie Irving is the latest player to face harassment from an NBA fan.

After Irving dropped 39 points on the Celtics in a 141-126 Nets win, the team's star guard was walking to the locker room when a Boston fan chucked a water bottle at him.

MORE: Kyrie Irving hoping to avoid "subtle racism" in Boston

Here's a look at the incident, via YES Network.

Irving came away from the water bottle toss unharmed, but he was understandably upset with what had happened. As a result, he called out NBA fans amid their recent rash of poor in-arena behavior.

"It's unfortunate that sports has come to a lot of this kind of crossroads where you're seeing a lot of old ways come up," Irving said to reporters after the game. "It's been that way in history in terms of entertainment, performers and sports for a long period of time, just underlying racism and just treating people like they're in a human zoo.

"Throwing stuff at people and saying things. It's a certain point where it gets to be too much. I called it out, I just wanted to keep it strictly basketball. But then you just see people just feel very entitled out here. They paid for their tickets -- great, I'm grateful that they're coming in to watch a great performance.

"But we're not at the theater. We're not throwing tomatoes and other random stuff at the people that are performing. It's just 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 "on edge", he largely echoed Irving's sentiments and told fans to "grow the f— up."

“Fans got to grow up at some point. I know that being in the house for a year and a half with the pandemic got a lot of people on edge, got a lot of people stressed out, but when you come to these games, you have to realize these men are human," Durant said. "We are not animals, we are not in the circus. You coming to the game is not all about you as a fan.

“Have some respect for the human beings and have some respect for yourself. Your mother wouldn’t be proud of you throwing water bottles at basketball players or spitting on players or tossing popcorn. So grow the f— up and  enjoy the game, it’s bigger than you.”

Of course, the popcorn reference Durant made is about the 76ers fan who dumped popcorn on Russell Westbrook during Game 2 of the 76ers vs. Wizards series. And the spitting incident occurred between Trae Young and a Knicks fan in the Hawks vs. Knicks series.

Additionally, Jazz fans made racist and vulgar comments to the family of Ja Morant in the first two games of their series with the Grizzlies.

MORE: Jaylen Brown offers thoughtful statement on Kyrie Irving's racism comments

So, what happened in Boston on Sunday night isn't an isolated problem. Still, that doesn't excuse the fan's behavior, and Celtics star Jayson Tatum acknowledged that while supporting a majority of the Boston fans that were in attendance for the game.

“I mean, 18,000 people in a building. I guess in any arena there are a few bad seeds,” Tatum said. “I don’t want that to overshadow the rest of the fans that came and supported us tonight. I was extremely happy to see that, but obviously, there’s no place in NBA for throwing bottles or throwing anything at a player. So I’m sure that they’ll handle that right away.”

And they did. The fan was reportedly arrested and faces a lifetime ban from the TD Garden.

Nonetheless, Durant made it clear that the Nets, who lead the Celtics 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, hope they won't have to come back to Boston any time soon.

"We know how these people are here in Boston," Durant said. "We know how passionate they are about Kyrie in particular. And they're still upset at him. That's no reason for them to act childish, but we don't need to speak on that. We know what it is already coming in here.

"Glad we got the W and hopefully we don't have to come back here this year."

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