Nets' Kyrie Irving: 'I'm Cool With' Reception from Celtics Fans During Game 3 Loss

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIMay 29, 2021

Fans watch as Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving handles the ball in the second quarter of Game 3 against the Boston Celtics during an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Friday, May 28, 2021, in Boston. Irving, an ex-Celtic, was repeatedly booed by the TD Garden fans. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Brooklyn Nets and former Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving was loudly booed in his return to TD Garden on Friday, when the C's defeated the visitors 125-119 in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.

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Kyrie was welcoming the boos in Boston.<br><br>(via @NBCSCeltics)pic.twitter.com/dJTiSxZMLw

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Boston fans welcome back Kyrie with a sea of boos<br><br>(via @chrisgrenham)pic.twitter.com/N7ZO54REt3

Irving was asked about the reception postgame and said that he was fine with the jeers since the focus remained on basketball. 

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Kyrie Irving talks about the reception he got in Boston:<br><br>"It's basketball. I've been in a few environments in my life. As long as it's just strictly the nature of basketball out there and nothing extra I'm cool with it" pic.twitter.com/VsxzGXpSYi

The TD Garden crowd was held to 5,000 patrons on Friday amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but that restriction will be lifted for Sunday, with TD Garden potentially welcoming over 17,000 fans for Game 4 between the C's and Nets, per Brian Robb of Mass Live.

That could lead to even more jeers for Irving, but he's welcoming the challenge.

“We’re expecting a bigger crowd on Sunday,” Irving said, per Robb. “Happy it was a great start to seeing what this environment is going to be like. Just looking forward to the challenge.”

Boston and Brooklyn will battle on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET. TNT will be the television home for the game.