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Boston Celtics

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 30: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets drives to the basket against the Boston Celtics during Game Four of the Eastern Conference first round series at TD Garden on May 30, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

UPDATE: The TD Garden released a statement about an hour after the incident, indicating a fan has been arrested by Boston police. 

Following the Celtics’ Game 4 loss to the Brooklyn Nets Sunday night, a fan threw a water bottle at Kyrie Irving as he was walking off the court. This comes after Irving made comments last week saying he hoped Celtics fans would “keep it strictly basketball” in his highly-anticipated playoff return to Boston.

After the bottle flew by Irving’s face (it did not hit him) he turned in the direction of the fan, as did a number of his teammates, before continuing down the tunnel.

A photo later showed a fan in a Celtics jersey detained and being led out of TD Garden by Boston police.

“It’s unfortunate that sports has come to this kind of crossroads,” Irving said postgame. “Just underlying racism and just treating people like they’re in a human zoo, throwing things at them. At a certain point it just becomes too much.”

“We keep saying things like ‘we’re human, we’re human,’ but we don’t get treated like we have rights when we’re out there at times and people feel entitled to go do things like that,” he continued.

“We just had a knucklehead decide to do something knuckleheadedish. And it got to taken care of,” Celtics guard Marcus Smart said when asked about the incident. “Form my understanding, the culprit was taken care of quickly…so we’re happy for that.”

This continues what has been a string of incidents involving NBA players and fans. Last week, a spectator in Philadelphia dumped popcorn on Russell Westbrook, and somebody in New York spit on Trae Young.

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.