WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A Boston Celtics fan was arrested Sunday night after throwing a bottle of water at Kyrie Irving while the Brooklyn Nets star was entering the tunnel to leave the court after the game.
- The fan, who was identified as 21-year-old Cole Buckley, faces one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
- The Nets won the game 141-126 against the Celtics with Irving finishing with 39 points.
A Boston Celtics fan who allegedly threw a Dasani water bottle at Kyrie Irving as he was leaving the court at TD Garden has been arrested. The Boston Police Department identified the fan as Cole Buckley, 21, of Braintree, Massachusetts.
Buckley will be facing one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in Boston Municipal Court on Tuesday. The incident happened after the game on Sunday night in which the Brooklyn Nets’ won 141-126 against the Celtics.
Security was able to locate Buckley with the help of witnesses. It was also caught on video. The incident was witnessed by a member of Nets security, according to police records.
When Irving was asked if the bottle hit him, he replied: “It doesn’t matter, honestly. … Anything could’ve happened with that water bottle being thrown at me, but my brothers were surrounding me, I had people in the crowd, so I’m just trying to get home to my wife and my kids.”
Buckley was issued a lifetime ban from TD Garden.
“We will support and provide assistance to Boston Police as this incident is under review,” TD Garden spokesperson Tricia McCorkle said in a statement issued following the game. “We have zero tolerance for violations of our guest code of conduct, and the guest is subject to a lifetime ban from TD Garden.”
The Nets took a 2-0 lead in their first-round series with the Celtics. Irving said earlier he had about playing in front of Boston fans for the first time since leaving Celtics in 2019.
“Hopefully we can just keep it strictly basketball,” Irving told reporters during Tuesday’s conference call. “There’s no belligerence or any racism going on — subtle racism and people yelling s*** from the crowd.”
Fans were booing Irving every time he touched the ball. He was also showered with chants ranging from “f*** you Kyrie” and “Kyrie sucks” throughout Games 3 and 4 in Boston. The NBA star just took the jeers in stride until the water bottle-throwing incident.
For Irving, it crossed the line beyond basketball.
“It’s been that way in history in terms of entertainment and performers in sports for a long period of time,” Irving said on Sunday night, “and just underlying racism and treating people like they’re in a human zoo. Throwing stuff at people. Saying things. There’s a certain point where it gets to be too much. I called it out. I wanted to keep it strictly basketball, and then you just see that people just feel very entitled out here.
“They pay for their tickets — great, I’m grateful that they’re coming in to watch a great performance — but we’re not at the theater. We’re not throwing tomatoes and other random stuff at the people who are performing. It’s too much, and it’s a reflection on us as a whole when you have fans acting like that.”