In what was just the latest in a recent string of incidents related to fans facing consequences for their actions at NBA playoff games, a Celtics fan who threw a water bottle at Nets star Kyrie Irving was arrested and banned from TD Garden.
Earlier in the playoffs, a fan in Philadelphia poured popcorn on Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook. And in New York, a Knicks fan spit on Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young toward the end of a game. Both fans were banned from each respective venue.
Stars across the NBA have vocalized their frustration with the trend, including Kevin Durant.
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Durant Sounds off on Unruly Fans
Durant, who dropped 42 points in Brooklyn’s 141-126 win on Sunday, didn’t hold back in lashing out on the recent behaviour of a few unruly fans.
“Fans gotta grow up at some point,” Durant said, via SNY. “I know that being in the house for a year-and-a-half with the pandemic got a lot of people on edge, got a lot of people stressed out. But when you come into these games, you gotta realize these men are human. We’re not animals; we’re not in a circus. You coming to the game is not all about you as a fan. Have some respect for the game, have some respect for these 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. Grow the f*** up and enjoy the game. It’s bigger than you.
“We didn’t even talk about (the water bottle being thrown at Irving). We know how these people here are in Boston. We know how passionate they are about Kyrie in particular. They still upset at him. That’s no reason for them to act childish but we don’t need to speak on that. We know what it is already coming in here. Glad we got the W. Hopefully we don’t have to come back here this year.”
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Steph Curry Backs up Durant
ESPN’s NBA Twitter account took a snippet of that quote and fired off a tweet about it that certainly didn’t convey the bulk of Durant’s message.
Chad Finn of The Boston Globe then made sure the intent of Durant’s message was clearly conveyed by tweeting the quote in its entirety — and “not the most damning possible edit,” as Finn tweeted.
A fan asked Finn for his interpretation of Curry’s motive for the tweet. Finn replied in part by saying he was glad to reunite the former teammates who won two NBA championships together.