A fan was arrested following the Celtics Game 4 loss to the Brooklyn Nets Sunday night for throwing a water bottle at Kyrie Irving as he was leaving the TD Garden parquet.
As the Nets' All-Star was walking into the Garden tunnel following Brooklyn's 141-126 victory, a water bottle flew past his head and narrowly missed him. Irving and his teammates turned to look into the stands, while other spectators in the section pointed out the fan, identified later as Cole Buckley, 21, of Braintree MA, who was immediately detained and then cuffed by Boston Police.
Cole was charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon and will be arraigned in court on Tuesday morning.
Kyrie Irving stomping on the face of the Celtics’ logo on his way out... pic.twitter.com/7Mf5zJEILi— Josue Pavón (@Joe_Sway) May 31, 2021
Irving's Nets teammate Kevin Durant called for fans to grow up and stop treating NBA players like they are animals at a circus.
"Have some respect for the game, have some respect for the human beings, and have some respect for yourself," Durant said during his postgame presser. "Your mother wouldn't be proud of you throwing water bottles at basketball players or spitting on players or tossing popcorn. So grow the fuck up and enjoy the game."
This incident comes in the wake of Irving's comments about Celtics fans along, with a Knicks fan spitting on Trae Young and a 76ers fan throwing popcorn on Russell Westbrook over the past week. The former C's point guard believes players at times don't have human rights.
"It's been that way in history in terms of entertainers, performers, and sports for a very long time, just underlying racism and treating people like they're in a human zoo," Irving said after the game. "Throwing stuff at people, saying things. There's a certain point where it gets to be too much."So I called it out. I just wanted to keep it strictly basketball, and then you just see that people just feel very entitled out here. Pay for their tickets, great. I'm grateful that you'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 too much, and it's a reflection on us as a whole when you have fans acting like that."
Marcus Smart, who supported Irving's comments about Celtics fans, was glad the situation at the Garden on Sunday was handled quickly.
"One bad seed doesn't mean that the whole fruit is poisoned," Smart said in his postgame comments. "Our fans have been great. We just had a knucklehead decide to do something knucklehead-ish, and it got taken care of, so we're happy for that."
Jayson Tatum also added he hoped while the incident was unacceptable, that it wouldn't overshadow those other 17,200-plus fans that came out to support the Celtics.
"Obviously there's no place in the NBA for throwing bottles or throwing anything," Tatum said during his Zoom press conference. "I'm sure they will handle that right away, but there's no place for that in the NBA."
In a text per the TD Garden, the individual that threw threw the bottle was arrested and will be subject to a lifetime ban from the arena.
Irving, who was booed in both Game 3 and 4 every time he touched the ball, appears to stomp on the head of the Celtics leprechaun logo Sunday night after scoring 39 points and hitting six 3's in the Nets' win to lead the first round best-of-7 series over Boston 3-1.
Photo used courtesy of WCVB-TV
Photo used courtesy of WCVB-TV