Irving was heading back to the locker room when someone hurled a water bottle at him. He and teammates Tyler Johnson turned back and looked up into the stands. Police surrounded a man in a Celtics’ Kevin Garnett jersey, placed him in handcuffs and led him out of the arena.
It was the latest incident of fans’ wild behavior at NBA games.
“(It’s) just underlying racism, and treating people like they’re in a human zoo,” the Nets star said.
“Throwing stuff at people, saying things. There’s a certain point where it gets to be too much. You see people just feel very entitled out here. … As a Black man playing in the NBA, dealing with a lot of this stuff, it’s fairly difficult. You never know what’s going to happen,” he added.
Irving scored 39 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the team’s 141-126 victory to take a 3-1 lead in the playoff series. He caused a stir last week when he hoped there would be no “subtle racism” when the series shifted back to Boston.
A TD Garden official said Boston police arrested one person for “throwing an object.”
A fan is handcuffed and escorted out of TD Garden by police after allegedly throwing a water bottle at Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving as Irving left the court after Game 4 of an NBA first-round playoff series, Sunday, May 30, 2021, in Boston. The Nets won 141-126. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
“We have zero tolerance for violations of our guest code of conduct,” TD Garden spokeswoman Tricia McCorkle said. “And the guest is subject to a lifetime ban from TD Garden.”
The latest incident follows three fan incidents in three NBA playoff games. The fans in question were banned indefinitely.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.