Kyrie Irving returned to Boston for the first day of the playoffs on Sunday, and he was not given a warm welcome.
The Brooklyn Nets point guard and shooting guard Kyrie Irving returned to the TD Garden in Boston for the Playoffs on Sunday. He’s a former Boston Celtics player, and his return to the Garden was far from welcoming. Celtics fans were yelling obscenities to Irving, and he claims to have been “returning the energy.”
After the game Irving talked about exactly how he received and returned that energy, per NetsDaily:
“Look, where I’m from, I’m used to all these antics and people being close nearby. It’s nothing new when I come into this building what it’s going to be like — but it’s the same energy they have for me, I’m going to have the same energy for them. And it’s not every fan, I don’t want to attack every fan, every Boston fan. When people start yelling ‘p—y’ or ‘b—-‘ and ‘f— you’ and all this stuff, there’s only but so much you take as a competitor. We’re the ones expected to be docile and be humble, take a humble approach, f— that, it’s the playoffs. This is what it is.”
His departure from Boston was difficult after playing for just two season with the Celtics. Fans were disappointed and upset with Irving, and this behavior doesn’t seem to be anything new. Despite the unfortunate situation, he seems to not let it get the best of him most times.
Irving later elaborated, per NBC Sports Boston:
“I know what to expect in here. And it’s the same energy I’m giving back to them. It is what it is. I’m not really focused on it, it’s fun, you know what I’m saying? Where I’m from I’ve dealt with so much, so coming in here you relish it as a competitor. … This isn’t my first time at TD Garden so what you guys saw, what you guys think is entertainment, or the fans think is entertainment, all is fair in competition. So if somebody’s going to call me out on my name, I’m gonna look at them straight in the eye and see if they really ’bout it. Most of the time they’re not.”
This is not the first instance Irving has been outspoken. He’s been a popular topic in the media and among fans in many instances, including his refusal to get the Covid-19 vaccine and his flat earth conspiracy theory. The most controversy from Boston, however, is linked to his statement of intention to stay with the Celtics and then leaving. This left Celtics fans disappointed, which showed in the playoff game and will likely continue to show in future games.
Despite Irving’s controversial comments and decisions, he is one of the best point guards the NBA has had. He is a powerhouse scorer and often performs great under pressure. His ability to rack up points in a limited amount of time is often unseen among the NBA. His outspokenness may get him in trouble sometimes, but his talent will always make him a desirable player.
Irving didn’t go out of his way to irritate Celtics fans, but he seems to have been responding to the ones that irritated him.