Celtics fans and Kyrie Irving have a complicated relationship, to say the least, but the Mavericks guard took a slightly different view compared to his past comments about the fandom.

Fans showered the All-NBA guard with boos before Boston’s 138-110 victory over Dallas at TD Garden. The 31-year-old also was subjected to “Kyrie sucks” chants throughout the night, which is the typical reaction he’s gotten since he left for the Brooklyn Nets in 2019 after hinting that he’d stay with the Celtics.

Irving hasn’t been afraid to let his thoughts be known about Boston fans and the treatment he gets. However, the raucous reaction didn’t seem to get to him Friday night.

“A lot of the attention is on me, in terms of just the fandom,” Irving told reporters, per MassLive’s Souichi Terada via CLNS Media. “It’s been six years. You gotta love it. But rightfully so. They have a right to boo. From my career record against them the last few games, I haven’t won. Till I beat them, they have all the right to continue to boo. I think that’s what makes the theatrics of sports and competitive sports fun. Just gotta embrace it. It’s part of it.”

Story continues below advertisement

Indeed, Brooklyn was not successful in its superteam attempt with Kevin Durant, James Harden and Irving, especially against the Celtics. What was left of the Nets’ attempted pursuit of a championship flamed out in the first round when Boston swept them in the 2022 playoffs, where the vitriol toward Irving arguably was at its peak.

“The booing’s part of it,” Irving said. “I have dealt with Boston fans prior to me even coming here. I’ve excited them a few times. But earlier in my career, we used to come up to Boston and smack them around. I’ve had both sides of the coin now, and I’ve accepted that’s what comes with the competitive side. I’ve had both sides. Sending Boston fans home then also booing me all the time. … They want to win, so you got to give them credit.”

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

Jaylen Brown was in favor of Celtics fans booing star players from opposing teams, but the interactions with Irving will come infrequently as long as he remains with the Mavericks. He scored 19 points on 9-of-23 shooting Friday night, and if Dallas does play Boston again this season, it would be in the NBA Finals if the sides reach it that far.

Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images