Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving calls NBA arenas ‘a human ZOO’ as fan is arrested for throwing water bottle at his head at end of play-off game against Boston Celtics – and fan ‘is set to be banned for LIFE’
- Brooklyn Nets beat Boston Celtics 141-126 on Sunday in the first-round playoff
- Kyrie Irving scored 39 points but was inches from being hit by a water bottle
- A fan threw it from the crowd, was later arrested and now faces a lifetime ban
- Irving has complained about the behaviour of fans inside NBA arenas
Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving said NBA arenas had become like ‘human zoos’ after a fan was arrested for throwing a water bottle at the former Celtic guard on Sunday.
Video posted on social media showed the bottle narrowly missed Irving, who scored 39 points in Game 4 as the Nets beat the Celtics 141-126 to take a 3-1 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.
The Athletic reported the fan could be banned for life from Boston’s TD Garden.
A fan lobbed a bottle at Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving (top) after the clash with Boston Celtics
The fan was spotted by security and lead away in handcuffs, and could face a lifetime ban
‘It’s unfortunate that sports has come to this crossroads where a lot of old ways are coming up,’ Irving, who played for the Celtics from 2017-19, said after the match.
‘It’s been that way for entertainment for a long time with underlying racism and just treating people like they are in a human zoo.’
The conduct of fans has been an issue for the NBA lately, with five spectators hit with indefinite bans for ‘completely unacceptable’ behaviour towards players and their families in separate incidents last week.
The Nets guard has spoken-out about the treatment of NBA players from fans inside the arenas
Irving scored 39 points against his old team before the evening turned sour as he walked off
Nets forward Kevin Durant said fans need to ‘grow up’.
‘We are not animals, we are not in the circus,’ he added. ‘You coming to the game is not all about you as a fan. So, have some respect for the game.’
Reuters requested comment from the NBA.