Police arrest Celtics fan for throwing water bottle

Published May 31, 2021, 1:49 PM

by Agence-France-Presse

Kyrie Irving 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. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Boston police have arrested a basketball fan for allegedly tossing a water bottle at Brooklyn Nets players as they left the court following their win over the Celtics on Sunday.

The bottle landed between Nets players Kyrie Irving and Tyler Johnson, who both stopped and looked up into the stands at the Boston Garden to see where it came from.

Irving said after the game that he felt the bottle was meant for him. The incident happened just moments after Irving seemingly wiped his shoe on the Celtics logo at center court as he congratulated his teammates on the 141-126 win.

“You can see that people just feel very entitled out here,” Irving said about the bottle toss. “We’re not at the theater. We’re not throwing tomatoes and other random stuff at the people that are performing.”

The fan was escorted out of the arena by Boston police and arrested, a venue spokesperson told the Boston Herald.

“A guest was arrested by Boston Police at the end of tonight’s Boston Celtics game for throwing an object,” the spokesperson said. “We will support and provide assistance to Boston Police as this incident is under review. We have zero tolerance for violations of our guest code of conduct, and the guest is subject to a lifetime ban from TD Garden.”

There has been bad blood between Irving and Celtics fans since the player left Boston under a cloud of controversy in 2019 to join Brooklyn.

Irving, playing this week in front of Boston fans for the first time since his departure, was showered with boos every time he touched the ball.

His Nets teammate Kevin Durant said some fans were crossing the line.

“Fans got to grow up at some point,” Durant said. “We are not animals; we are not in the circus… Have some respect for the game. Have some respect for the human beings, and have some respect for yourself. Your mother wouldn’t be proud of you throwing water bottles at basketball players or spitting on players or tossing popcorn.”

This is the latest in a series of hostile acts aimed at players by NBA fans.

Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook had popcorn dumped on his head by a fan in Philadelphia, while Hawks guard Trae Young was spat at by a fan in Madison Square Garden but not hit.

The father of Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant said he was the object of racial slurs from Salt Lake City fans.