Nets’ Kyrie Irving Sounds off About ‘Subtle Racism’ From Celtics Fans

Kyrie Irving

Getty Kyrie Irving calls out a play during Brooklyn's loss to the Charlotte Hornets.

The Brooklyn Nets pummeled the Boston Celtics on Tuesday to take a commanding 2-0 lead over the Boston Celtics. The Nets defeated the Celtics 130-108 and are starting to look like the team that we all thought they would be when they made the blockbuster trade for James Harden. The entire team was clicking on all cylinders all night long as they are looking more and more like an unstoppable force in this year’s NBA Playoffs.

Friday’s game may be somewhat more challenging for the Nets as the series will shift from Brooklyn to Boston. It will be Nets star Kyrie Irving’s official return to Boston since leaving the franchise to come to Brooklyn in the Summer of 2019.

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Kyrie Sounds off on His Return to Boston

Kyrie has made it clear this year that he only has one focus, and that is to play the game of basketball. No extracurriculars whatsoever. However, given the fashion in which Kyrie exited Boston, that may be unavoidable when he returns to TD Garden for Game 3 on Friday. Still, the 7-time All-Star is hoping that his return to Boston can stay rated PG.

“I am just looking forward to competing with my teammates and hopefully, we can just keep it strictly basketball; there’s no belligerence or racism going on — subtle racism, people yelling s*** from the crowd,” Irving said to reporters after Tuesday’s win via ESPN. “But even if it is, it’s part of the nature of the game and we’re just going to focus on what we can control.”

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Marcus Smart Details a Time He Experience Racism in Boston

Racism amongst the fans in Boston has been a long-heralded issue dating back to the days of Bill Russell and is still an issue today. In a piece written by Marc J. Spears of ESPN last year, Celtics guard Marcus Smart recalled a story where he was a victim of racism right outside of TD Garden after a Celtics game. Smart was trying to warn a fan to get out of the way of oncoming traffic and was met with a flurry of racial slurs.

“I yell out the window ‘Excuse me, ma’am, you better get out of the street before you and your son get hit. Cars are coming. I don’t want you to get hit’,” Smart said to The Undefeated last year. “As soon as I said that, she looked at me – as she is wearing a No. 4, green with the white outline Celtics jersey – and told me, ‘F*** you, you f****** n*****.’ People that actually heard her were stunned. They’re like, ‘That’s Marcus Smart. You just got done watching the game, ma’am … with an Isaiah Thomas jersey on.’”

Will Kyrie Sage TD Garden Before Game 3?

Kyrie made headlines earlier this season when he was seen saging down the TD Garden before a Nets preseason matchup with the Boston Celtics. Saging is a ritual used to cleanse a person or rid an environment of negative energy to promote healing and wisdom. Although it may have seemed like petty trolling Kyrie insists that it was all about good vibes.

“Being able to sage, just cleanse the energy, make sure that we’re all balanced,” Irving told the media after the game via ESPN. “But, literally, it’s more or less for us to stay connected and for us to feel great about going to work and feeling safe and provided for from our ancestors. I’m not going to bring too much of the spirituality into basketball, but yeah, it’s part of my native culture where I’m from.”

Kyrie Irving with what looks like a sage burning pregame ritual in BostonKyrie Irving is burning sage at the Garden before his return to Boston @NBC Sports Boston @Boston Celtics Outro's Song: Causmic – Soul Searching #nba #KyrieIrvingritual #KyrieIrving2020-12-18T23:07:19Z

The Nets will be looking to extend their series lead to 3-0 when they take on the Celtics Friday.

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