Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving had one of his best performances of the first round in Game 4 against the Boston Celtics. After a subpar 6-17 shooting performance in Game 3, Kyrie went off for 39 points and 11 assists as the Nets cruised to a 141-126 victory and now hold a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. Unfortunately for Irving and the Nets fanbase, his performance in Game 4 on May 30 was overshadowed by the actions of one Celtics fan at TD Garden.
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Boston Police Release Cole Buckley’s Mug Shot
The fan, who has been identified by Boston Police as 21-year-old Cole Buckley, threw a water bottle at Irving as he was exiting the arena at TD Garden. Buckley was arrested on Sunday, May 30, 2021, and charged with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon for throwing a water bottle at Irving per ESPN’s Malika Andrews.
On Sunday the Boston Police Department released Buckley’s official mug shot.
A police report released on June 1 said that in addition to video of the incident, two security guards witnessed the event before Buckley was handcuffed, removed from the arena and booked on assault, according to NBC Boston.
Buckley pleaded not guilty in Boston Municipal Court on Wednesday, June 2, and was released on $500 bail, the news station reported.
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Kevin Durant Goes off on Unruly Fans
With NBA arenas nearing full capacity, the unruliness of certain fans has been on full display as of late. Several incidents between players and fans have occurred since the playoffs began last month. Nets star Kevin Durant says that even though the fans are still getting reacclimated to being at games it is no excuse for them to conduct themselves in such a vile manner.
“Fans gotta grow up at some point. 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 to these games, you gotta realize that these men are human. We’re not animals, we’re not in the circus,” Durant said per NetsDaily.
“You coming to the game is not all about you as a fan. So 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 for throwing water bottles at basketball players, spitting on players, or tossing popcorn. Grow the f*** up and enjoy the game. It’s bigger than you.”
James Harden Calls on NBA to Take Action
The situation that happened with Buckley inside of the TD Garden is just one out of a slew of incidents to occur between fans and players. Nets star James Harden is all for fans having the freedom to express themselves but at the same time feels that they need to show some self-control when attending the games.
“It’s really unacceptable,” Harden said of NBA fan’s recent behavior per NetsDaily. “These fans should come in and boo or cheer or do whatever they gotta do. Just throwing things and the disrespectful language, it’s ridiculous at this point. There’s something gotta be enforced with the NBA as far as fans — like, someone has to be made an example. I don’t think banning fans from the arena is enough because you see different arenas, fans continue to do it. So, something has to be put in place.”
The hope amongst many is that Buckley’s arrest will encourage fans to exhibit self-control at the games. In the meantime, a TD Garden spokesperson said Buckley is banned from the venue for life, according to NBC Boston.