The Celtics fan who appeared to throw a water bottle at Kyrie Irving after Game 4 on Sunday has been charged with assault, according to Boston police.
Cole Buckley, 21, from Massachusetts, after the conclusion of the Celtics’ last playoff game against the Nets, allegedly threw a Dasani water bottle at Irving as he and the team exited the court into the tunnel.
Buckley was arrested on the spot at TD Garden and the Celtics announced he would be subject to a lifetime ban from all events at the arena.
His full charge includes assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and he will be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on Tuesday.
“It’s unfortunate that sports has come to a kind of crossroads, where you’re seeing a lot of old ways come up,” Irving said after the incident on Sunday. “It’s been that way in terms of entertainment, performers and sports for a long period of time and just underlying racism and just treating people like they’re in a human zoo. Throwing stuff at people, saying things.”
The incident with the water bottle has been the third such of fans interacting inappropriately with players this playoffs as crowd sizes increased. This is also the first full season fans have been allowed to attend games in person.
On Monday, Knicks’ Immanuel Quickley revealed a fan threw a beer at him during the Knicks-Hawks Game 2 matchup at the Garden on Wednesday. A 76ers fan had his season ticket membership revoked and received a lifetime ban on Thursday from Wells Fargo Arena after pouring popcorn on Wizards star Russell Westbrook on Wednesday. And a Knicks fan was also banned from MSG that day after spitting at Hawks’ star Trae Young also during Game 2.
“Have some respect for the game, have respect for these human beings, and have some respect for yourself,” Nets star Kevin Durant said Sunday. “Your mother wouldn’t be proud of you throwing water bottles at players, or spitting at players or tossing popcorn, so grow the f—- up and enjoy the game.”
Though there have been just these noted incidents through the playoffs, there have been many more that have happened over the years, many of which involved fans spewing lewd and racist slurs at players.
“There’s a certain point where it gets to be too much,” Irving continued. “So I called it out. I just wanted to keep it strictly basketball, and then you just see that people just feel very entitled out here. Pay for their tickets, great. I’m grateful that you’re coming in to watch a great performance, but we’re not at the theater. We’re not throwing tomatoes and other random stuff at the people that are performing.
“It’s too much, and it’s a reflection on us as a whole when you have fans acting like that.”
Story by Sarah Valenzuela, New York Daily News.