It’s clear that Kyrie Irving still holds some animosity towards the Celtics organization.
As Irving scored 39 and saw his Nets push the Celtics to the brink of elimination on Sunday night with a 141-126 victory, things started to get chippier on the floor. And despite Boston never making the game close, the TD Garden crowd continued to rain chants of “F— you Kyrie” down on their former star throughout the contest.
Irving ended up having the last laugh with the win. But after the game was over and the team’s exited the floor, Irving did something that enraged some Boston fans. He appeared to stomp on the Celtics’ logo, known as Lucky the Leprechaun, as he left the court.
Sports fans take their logos personally. We’ve seen it in the past when Baker Mayfield planted an Oklahoma flag in the middle of the Ohio State midfield logo after a Sooners win and when Terrell Owens celebrated a touchdown on the Cowboys’ logo at midfield.
Now, Celtics supporters, including an all-time Boston great Cedric Maxwell, are asking why Irving felt the need to perform the “classless act” after the game.
Kyrie Irving: “I hope the Boston fans keep it about basketball”
**Stomps on Celtics logo**
— Savage (@BOSTONSPORTSB) May 31, 2021
The amount of people trying to defend Kyrie Irving – basketball talent, emotional child – is stupefying. He’s great at hoops. But as he displayed tonight postgame with his logo stomp, he sucks at being mature, even after a big win and huge effort.
— Fitzy (@FitzyGFY) May 31, 2021
Would LOVE to hear Kyrie Irving’s explanation for classless stomping of #Celtics logo. C’s seemingly couldn’t have made his time in Boston easier. Grousbeck, Ainge, Stevens, teammates…everyone went out of their way to ensure he had a positive experience, then wished him well.
— Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) May 31, 2021
That said, just as many are defending Irving’s actions and took some time to support the Nets star and joke about his postgame antics.
Oh no Kyrie Irving killed the Boston Celtics logo
Now I understand why everyone is SOOO upset
Another painted logo on a FLOOR gone too soon 🙁 https://t.co/7iduAoVtyO
— Cody Mallory (@RealCodyMallory) May 31, 2021
there is nothing “classless” about kyrie irving stepping on the logo (in a place where he’s widely hated!) and the definition/application of that term in sports has always been deeply problematic🥰🥰🥰
— Rohan Nadkarni (@RohanNadkarni) May 31, 2021
Hahah Kyrie stepped on the Celtic logo @KyrieIrving legend
— 🏴☠️ ✞ Franco ✞ 🏴☠️ (@FrancoFlame) May 31, 2021
In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a big deal. And Irving’s actions shouldn’t be used in any way, shape or form to justify the actions of a Celtics fan who threw a water bottle at him after the game.
Being at the center of controversy in Boston is nothing new for Irving, who left the team on rough terms back in 2019. But as he said after the game, he’s used to being in “hostile environments” and was just happy to win.
“I’ve been part of a lot of hostile environments since I was a kid,” Irving said, per MassLive.com’s Brian Robb. “It’s not the first time in my life that I’ve had to bounce back from one of those types of performances that isn’t typical of me, in terms of the big stage, and I can’t do it alone. So in between the last day or so, just spending some time with my teammates, spending time with myself and having conversations to keep me balanced and grounded and go out there and have fun and play basketball at a high level.
“I’m grateful to be able to put on a uniform and just go out there and perform with some guys who are very selfless and just wanted to see some good basketball out there and we did the little things to help each other win.”