Kyrie Irving wasn’t present for the Boston Celtics’ defeat of his Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night at TD Garden, but he still managed to snag some headlines on Thanksgiving Eve.
Boston fans expressed their animosity toward the All-Star guard with anti-Irving chants early and often, which led the 27-year-old to respond on his Instagram story with a lengthy message which labeled sports and entertainment as “ignorant and obtrusive.” Although the back-and-forth has created an unavoidably awkward situation, he still has friends on the Celtics and around the NBA.
“On the Nets, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan and now Shumpert (who signed as a free agent this month) are all close to him,” The Athletic’s Joe Vardon wrote. “Irving still has at least one friend on the Celtics. (Marcus) Smart still texts him.”
This likely won’t surprise many Celtics fans, as Smart has long stood up for Irving amid criticism from the fanbase. He’s not the only player to do so, but he’s been more adamant about it than others since Irving’s departure to Brooklyn.
“I want to make sure he’s still OK, ask him how he’s doing and really making sure that he’s gonna be good,” Smart told Vardon.
Despite the long Instagram rant, broken promise and dysfunctional 2018-19 season, we think it’s time for Celtics fans to move on. The hate has gone a little overboard, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that Kemba Walker and Co. sit at 13-4 after 17 games.
Boston and Brooklyn meet once again Friday afternoon at Barclays Center, with tip-off slated for 12 p.m. ET. Irving’s status is still unknown.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images