Celtics Fan Arrested After Throwing a Water Bottle at Kyrie Irving

A Boston Celtics fan was arrested and is now facing charges after he reportedly threw a water bottle at Kyrie Irving's head as he was leaving the court at TD Garden on Sunday. Cole Buckley, 21, has been charged with one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon following the incident, which took place as Irving and teammate Tyler Johnson were walking to the locker room following the Brooklyn Nets' 141-126 victory.

Video of the moment shows Irving and Johnson leaving the court. As they make their way to the locker room, a water bottle can be seen flying just past Irving, barely missing him. According to TMZ, an eyewitness said he saw Buckley throw a Desani water bottle in Irving's direction. Buckley, who was wearing a Kevin Garnett jersey, was then seen being taken into custody and escorted out of the arena by Boston police. In a statement, TD Garden spokesperson Tricia McCorkle said the fan was arrested "for throwing an object," the Boston Herald reports. The statement added that the arena has "zero tolerance for violations of our guest code of conduct, and the guest is subject to a lifetime ban from TD Garden."

Irving addressed the incident when speaking with reporters following the game, calling it "unfortunate" that sports have "come to a lot of this crossroads where we're seeing a lot of old ways come up." He went on to say that it has "been that way in history in terms of entertainment," explaining that "performers and sports for a long period of time with underlying racism and treating people like they're in a human zoo."

"Throwing stuff at people, saying things — there's a certain point where it gets to be too much. I called it out, I just wanted to keep it strict to basketball," he continued. "But people just feel very entitled around here. They pay for their ticket, great. I'm grateful that they're coming in to watch a great performance. We're not at the theater, we're not throwing tomatoes and other random stuff at people that are performing. It's too much."


The Sunday incident marked just the latest occurrence of fans showcasing disrespectful behavior. On Wednesday, Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook had popcorn poured on his head as he was headed back to the locker room after rolling his ankle. That same day, a fan attending a game at Madison Square Garden spit on Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young. Then, during Game 2 of the playoff series between the Utah Jazz and Memphis Grizzlies, three fans were removed and subsequently banned due to disruptive behavior and abusive language. In response to the incidents, the league announced that "an enhanced fan code of conduct will be vigorously enforced in order to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all involved."