Brooklyn guard Kyrie Irving was nowhere near TD Garden in Boston when the Nets played the Celtics Wednesday night, but he heard the jeers and insults hurled by Celtics fans.
And a perturbed Irving — who missed his seventh straight game with a right shoulder injury — responded to the fans who were angry he left them in free agency after vowing he’d stay in Boston.
“It happens all the time and Tonight just shows how Sports/Entertainment will always be ignorant and obtrusive,” Irving, 27, wrote in a long Instagram post. “It’s one big SHOW that means Very VERY little in the real world that people live in because there are Actually things that matter going on within it.”
The Celtics fans brought posters bashing Irving, wore T-shirts that asked, “Where’s Kyrie” and booed the Nets all night despite the absence of the controversial Irving.
Irving continued in his post:
“It’s about doing it for the fans and organization that love you so much? Think again, it’s a GAME, and it’s promoted as a Fandom experience for ticket buyers and viewers at home, while defacing who people truly are as PEOPLE.”
Kyrie posted this message after missing the Nets-Celtics game Wednesday night.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 28, 2019
The Celtics won 121-110. The teams meet again Friday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Nets haven’t ruled out a return for Irving in that game.
Stevens disappointed in Celtics fans
Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters before the game that he didn’t like the way the fans had been talking about Irving.
“That’s one of the things that, unfortunately, when you’re really, really good at something, the level of scrutiny is even higher,” Stevens said. “He’s one of the best players in the NBA. The level of scrutiny is unfair, but it comes with the territory of all those guys. That’s why it’s so important that we constantly remind ourselves of how good they are.
“The way people talked about his time here … he was second team all-NBA last year. He was ridiculous the year before. He’s a heck of a player. He gets to choose where he wants to play, he gets to go home. That’s something we all respect. We wish him nothing but health and happiness. This is the world we live in. I don’t particularly like it … but we’ve got to react to something, and unfortunately we’re very reactionary.”
In his first 11 games with the Nets, Irving is averaging 28.5 points, 7.2 assists, 5.4 rebounds in 33.8 minutes per game.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)