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Celtics fan throws water bottle at Kyrie Irving, is arrested, in latest incident of fan violence

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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.

And Malika Andrews identified the fan as 21-year-old Cole Buckley.

YES Network and NBC Sports Boston cameras caught the incident on video...

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.

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...

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.

He later deleted the tweet. Meanwhile, Kevin Garnett went out of his way to criticize Irving for stomping on the Celtics logo.

Other former players and media figures criticized the fan...

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.