Fan arrested after allegedly throwing water bottle at Kyrie Irving
BOSTON – A fan who threw a water bottle apparently at Kyrie Irving’s head, as he was leaving the court at TD Garden following the Brooklyn Nets’ 141-126 victory over the Boston Celtics on Sunday, has been arrested.
The fan was escorted out of the arena by Boston police, and was arrested “for throwing an object,” according to a statement from TD Garden.
The bottle narrowly missed Irving, who was walking toward the tunnel after his 39-point performance helped give Brooklyn a 3-1 series lead over the Celtics.
“You can see that people just feel very entitled out here,” Irving said about the incident. “They paid for their tickets – great, I’m grateful that they’re coming in to watch a great performance. But we’re not at the theatre. We’re not throwing tomatoes and other random stuff at the people that are performing.”
According to Boston Police, a witness says the suspect – 21-year-old Cole Buckley of Braintree, Massachusetts – threw a Dasani water bottle at Irving. Buckley is charged with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and will be arraigned Tuesday in Boston Municipal Court.
“We will support and provide assistance to Boston Police as this incident is under review,” a TD Garden spokesperson 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.”
This is the most recent incident in a slew of instances of fans throwing items or hurling bodily fluids toward players.
When the bottle was thrown Sunday night, Irving and his teammate Tyler Johnson immediately stopped and looked up into the stands. Irving declined to give specifics on the back-and-forth.
“You’re seeing a lot of old ways come up,” Irving said. “It has been that way in history in terms of entertainment, performers and sports for a long period of time and just underlying racism and just treating people like they’re in a human zoo. Throwing stuff at people, saying things. There is a certain point where it gets to be too much.”
This weekend marked the first time Irving has played in TD Garden with fans since he signed with Brooklyn as a free agent two years ago.
Before the Nets travelled to Boston, Irving – who played for the Celtics for two seasons – was asked how he thought he would be received by the fans in TD Garden.
Irving said he hoped the fans would “just keep it strictly basketball. There’s no belligerence or any racism going on; subtle racism”.