The spectators are back in the NBA, but that has led to a series of incidents over the past week. Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets) was thrown a bottle of water from the stands after his team’s victory at the Boston Celtics (126-141). “We are treated as if we were in a human zoo,” said Irving, who and his squad took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
The bottle just flew past the head of the 29-year-old American, who played for the Celtics between 2017 and 2019. Security guards quickly caught the culprit. He was handcuffed to the TD Garden. “Unfortunately, sport has also reached a crossroads where many old roads converge,” said Irving. “There is an underlying racism. The people here think they have the right to do such a thing. ”
It was anything but a warm welcome for Irving on his return to the hall of his old club. He was called out with every touch of the ball. It didn’t take Irving out of his game, as he scored 39 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Together with Kevin Durant (42 points) and James Harden (23 points, 18 assists), he led Brooklyn Nets to the third victory over the Celtics.
“I know everyone has been home for 1.5 years because of the pandemic, so people are tense,” said Durant. “But when you go to such competitions, you have to realize: these men are also just people. We are not animals, we are not in the circus. Coming to a game isn’t all about you as a fan. Show a little respect for the sport. The people in Boston are probably still mad at Kyrie, but that’s no reason to be so childish. Hopefully we don’t have to come back here this year. ”
The Nets can secure a place in the second round of the play-offs in New York on Tuesday.
Several incidents took place last week. For example, Russell Westbrook (Washington Wizards) in Philadelphia got a bowl of popcorn thrown over him. In New York, a spectator spat at Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks). The perpetrators are no longer welcome in the NBA for the time being. Utah Jazz suspended three spectators for racist treatment of relatives of Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies).