While walking back to the locker room after the Nets 141-126, a fan — who’s since been arrested and served a lifetime ban from the TD Garden — threw a water bottle in Kyrie Irving’s direction. The bottle grazed Irving’s head, according to Boston Police.
“We will support and provide assistance to Boston Police as this incident is under review,” TD Garden spokesperson Tricia McCorkle said in a statement. “We have zero tolerance for violations of our guest code of conduct, and the guest is subject to a lifetime ban from TD Garden.”
On Monday morning, Shams Charania provided details of the charge against the fan who has yet to be identified.
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
And Malika Andrews identified the fan as 21-year-old Cole Buckley.
Update: Cole Buckley, 21, was arrested and charged with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon for throwing a water bottle at Kyrie Irving, according to Boston PD. Buckley will be arraigned Tuesday in Boston Municipal Court. https://t.co/9TU3E6tkyB— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) May 31, 2021
YES Network and NBC Sports Boston cameras caught the incident on video...
Water bottle nearly hits Kyrie Irving as he walks to the locker room following Game 4 in Boston. pic.twitter.com/RrtZth3cqt— YES Network (@YESNetwork) May 31, 2021
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
And the Boston Globe posted an image by its photographer Jim Davis showing the bottle flying past Irving’s head.
The incident came after two games worth of abuse directed at Irving, not just at TD Garden where chants of “F*** Kyrie” and “Kyrie Sucks” were the arena staple in Games 3 and 4, but also at Fenway Park during a Red Sox game attended by Nets staffers.
The incident sparked reactions from multiple Nets including Irving himself.
“It’s unfortunate that sports have come to a lot of these crossroads where you’re seeing a lot of old ways coming up. It’s been that way in history in terms of entertainers, performers, and sports for a long period of time of just underlying racism and treating people like they’re in a human zoo,” said Kyrie Irving. “Throwing stuff at people, saying things. There gets to be a point where it’s too much.”
His backcourt partner, James Harden, sounded off as well, stating that the NBA should perhaps look at taking stronger measures of discipline for unruly fans.
“It’s really unacceptable,” said Harden. “These fans should come in and boo or cheer or do whatever they gotta do. Just throwing things and the disrespectful language, it’s ridiculous at this point. There’s something gotta be enforced with the NBA as far as fans — like, someone has to be made an example. I don’t think banning fans from the arena is enough because you see different arenas, fans continue to do it. So something has to be put in place.”
Kevin Durant, meanwhile, implored fans to “grow up” and to “have respect” for the players, citing some of the recent incidents at playoff arenas. In Philadelphia, a 76ers fan dumped popcorn on the Wizards’ Russell Westbrook as he exited the court following an injury. In New York, a Knick fan spat at the Hawks’ Trae Young from behind the bench. In Salt Lake City, Jazz fans berated the family of Grizzlies’ Ja Morant with racial epithets.
“Fans gotta 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,” said Durant. “But when you come to these games, you gotta realize that these men are human. We’re not animals, we’re not in the circus. You coming to the game is not all about you as a fan. So have some respect for the game, have some respect for these human beings, and have some respect for yourself. Your mother wouldn’t be proud of you for throwing water bottles at basketball players, spitting on players, or tossing popcorn. Grow the F—k up and enjoy the game. It’s bigger than you.”
After the bottle throwing incident, TD Garden security moved in and the fan was arrested by Boston Police.
Update: pic.twitter.com/8poBfKZqza— Michael Grady (@Grady) May 31, 2021
The fan, not yet identified, reportedly was upset that at the end of the game, Irving walked to center court and stomped on the Celtics logo. Celtics fans took exception to Irving’s move...
@ESPNNBA kyrie showing his true colors. pic.twitter.com/MIF07RHjcz— yornoc (@yornoc74) May 31, 2021
Despite the obvious disparity, Jeff Goodman, the Boston based basketball writer, seemingly equated the fan’s bottle-throwing incident, which could have done bodily harm, with Irving’s disrespect of painted logo.
The Celtics fan was obviously classless for throwing the bottle, and should be banned from the Garden ... and Kyrie was classless for stomping on the Celtics logo.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) May 31, 2021
Both need to grow up.
He later deleted the tweet. Meanwhile, Kevin Garnett went out of his way to criticize Irving for stomping on the Celtics logo.
Kyrie Irving’s Boston Celtics logo stomp gets reaction from NBA Hall of Famer, Kevin Garnett: “So nobody gonna say anything about Kyrie stomping Lucky?”— Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson (@ScoopB) May 31, 2021
“We just gonna act like we didn’t see that.” pic.twitter.com/MrVFq115IY
Other former players and media figures criticized the fan...
"Look at that punk ass. Just take him downstairs and let Kyrie Irving handle that."— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 31, 2021
Charles Barkley reacts to the Celtics fan that was arrested and banned for life after throwing a bottle at Kyrie Irving.pic.twitter.com/Ried0dRfsH
Are we really discussing this right now? That damn fan shouldn’t have never threw a water bottle at Kyrie I don’t give damn if he poured Gatorade on the Logo. Real Talk! pic.twitter.com/cawu0Bq1kt— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) May 31, 2021
This. Is. Not. Okay.— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) May 31, 2021
Just no excuse for this, or any of the incidents we’ve seen in the past week where fans have been harassing players or their families. We all know where the line is. This is way past it. https://t.co/IklHB10yEa
Boston fan throws a water bottle at Kyrie as he walked up the tunnel after the game. At least popcorn can't injure. That bottle could have. That's attempted assault. Press charges against that fan! Enough!— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) May 31, 2021
what is wrong with people https://t.co/w15BR5zX2x— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) May 31, 2021
If the Nets win Game 5 Tuesday, they won’t have to visit Boston again this year ... unless it’s as witnesses for the fan’s trial.
- As if the Celtics on court were not bad enough, one fan makes it even worse - Dan Shaughnessy - Boston Globe
- Fan tosses water bottle at Kyrie Irving after Celtics’ game; later arrested and faces ban from TD Garden - Adam Himmelsbach - Boston Globe
- The end of this tumultuous season is in sight for these flawed Celtics - Gary Washburn - Boston Globe
- Fan arrested for throwing water bottle at Irving after Nets win - Mark Murphy - Boston Herald
- Nets rout Celtics, Boston fan throws bottle at Kyrie Irving - Jimmy Golen - AP
- NBA-Irving blasts ‘human zoo’ environment at arenas after fan throws bottle - Reuters
- Sources: Boston Celtics fan arrested after allegedly throwing water bottle at Kyrie Irving - Malika Andrews - ESPN
- Nets’ rout of Celtics ends in Kyrie Irving water bottle fiasco - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets appalled after Celtics fan throws water bottle at Kyrie Irving - Ryan Dunleavy - New York Post
- Kyrie Irving’s greatness can’t be stolen by moronic Celtics fan - Ian O’Connor - New York Post
- Celtics fan arrested for throwing water bottle at Kyrie Irving after Nets romp in Game 4 - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News
- Kyrie Irving, Nets demolish Celtics in a night marred by fan incident - Alex Schiffer - The Athletic New York
- Fan throws water bottle at Kyrie Irving’s head in Boston - Sydney Umeri - SB Nation