The NBA Playoffs are fun and exciting, just ask New York fans after the Knicks won their first playoff game in eight years.
But there also are fans who ruin the fun for everyone.
A Knicks fan was banned indefinitely from Madison Square Garden after spitting on Trae Young in Game 2 of New York’s first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks. Then there was a Philadelphia 76ers who dumped popcorn over Russell Westbrook as he went down the tunnel after suffering an injury. That fan had his season tickets revoked and is banned from Wells Fargo Center until further notice.
Then, of course, there’s the Boston Celtics and their fans.
Kyrie Irving turned heads when he told reporters he was hopeful to not hear any “subtle racism” when he returns to TD Garden for the first time with fans in attendance Friday night for Game 3 between the C’s and Brooklyn Nets.
You know the story by now: Irving promised to stay forever and he left.
It’s probably safe to assume Irving will be met with the boo birds when he’s introduced, and Nets head coach Steve Nash is all for “vitriol,” as long as the fans TD Garden “don’t cross that line.”
“We want the vitriol as long as it?s not over the line,” Nash told reporters Thursday, per the team. “We want to face some adversity. That noise, that energy coming from the opposing fans is something that can spur your team on. It’s a challenge to help you lock in and be more focused. There’s no better feeling than playing well on the road, especially in the playoffs.”
Should their be anything that crosses said line, Nash knows Irving will be able to handle it.
“There’s a line, but whether crossed or not, Ky can handle that,” Nash said. “No question.”
Injuries and COVID-19 have had Irving away from TD Garden since 2019, but that won’t be the case Friday when Game 3 tips off at 8:30 p.m. ET.