Nets’ Kyrie Irving Sounds Off on ‘Girlfriend’ Celtics Fans

Kyrie Irving

Getty Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets shoots the ball over Al Horford #42 of the Boston Celtics.

During the Brooklyn Nets‘ 126-120 loss to the Boston Celtics on March 6, Nets point guard Kyrie Irving got viciously booed by Celtics fans during pregame introductions and every time he touched the ball on offense.

Celtics fans despise Irving since the All-Star joined the Nets in the summer of 2019 as an unrestricted free agent after telling the Boston faithful before the 2018-19 season that he would re-sign with the franchise.

During his postgame media session with Nets reporters following the Celtics game, Irving said he knows he’ll be booed every time he plays in Boston.

“I know it’s going to be like that for the rest of my career coming in here,” Irving said, via Nick Friedell of ESPN.

Uncle Drew, who finished with 19 points and six assists while shooting 8-of-18 from the field against the Celtics, compared Boston fans to a “scorned girlfriend” while discussing the jeers. The one-time champion finds it funny that Celtics fans are still upset at him for leaving.

Irving on Celtics Fans: ‘It’s like the Scorned Girlfriend’

Irving played two seasons for the Celtics. He averaged 24.1 points and 6.1 assists in 127 regular-season games. However, Boston never made it to the NBA Finals.

A seven-time All-Star, Irving said he’s grateful for his time in Boston. Those comments, though, won’t change how Celtics fans feel about him.

“So it’s like the scorned girlfriend — wants an explanation on why I left, but still hoping for a text back. I’m just like, ‘It’s fun while it lasted.’ I think that’s the relationship that makes it fun, but the reality is I’m just grateful for my time here in Boston,” Irving said, via Friedell. “Everybody in the front office, everybody in that locker room treated me well. Still have lasting relationships in our league that extend as a brotherhood for us. And we still remain close.”

The Celtics improved to 39-27 after defeating the Nets, who dropped to 32-33. Brooklyn is on a four-game losing streak and Irving still can’t play in home games since he’s unvaccinated against COVID-19. The Duke product remains hopeful that New York City’s vaccine mandate changes soon and believes NYC Mayor Eric Adams is on his side.

Irving: ‘Shoutout Eric Adams, Man’

As Irving waits for Adams to roll back New York City’s vaccination mandate so that he can play in home games, the All-NBA guard told reporters after the Celtics contest he does believe the mayor is looking out for him.

“Shoutout Eric Adams, man,” Irving said, via Friedell. “It’s not an easy job to be the mayor of New York City. And with COVID looming, the vaccination mandates, everything going on in our world, with this war in the Ukraine, and everybody feeling it across America, I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes right now trying to delegate whether or not one basketball player can come and play at home. I appreciate his comments and his stance. He knows where I stand.”

It’s worth mentioning that Adams said it “would send the wrong message” to the rest of the city if he were to make an exception for Irving to play in New York without being vaccinated.

“Listen, I want Kyrie on the court,” Adams said during an interview with CNBC. “I would do anything to get that ring. So badly, I want it. But there’s so much at stake here. And I spoke with the owner of the team. We want to find a way to get Kyrie on the court, but this is a bigger issue. I can’t have my city closed down again. It would send the wrong message just to have an exception for one player when we’re telling countless number of New York City employees, ‘If you don’t follow the rules, you won’t be able to be employed.'”

It will be fascinating to see if Irving plays in home games again for the Nets, who are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

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