The Celtics are down 2-0 in their current series vs the Nets, but the buzz this week is all about former Celtic Kyrie Irving and his postgame comments after Game 2.
Rachel Nichols asked Irving about his experiences in Boston, referencing TD Garden and playing in front of the fans. Irving was quoted saying that “hopefully we can just keep it about basketball” and “hopefully there’s no belligerence or racism from the crowd.”
This caused an uproar, with media members, coaches, and players speaking up about the statement. People such as Kendrick Perkins and Blake Griffin have spoken up about the comments. At his press conference today, Marcus Smart was asked about Irving’s comments, as well as his experiences with racism in Boston during his time with the Celtics.
“Yeah, I’ve heard it. I’ve hard a couple of things. It’s hard to hear that and then have them support us as players. It’s kind of sad and sickening.”
Smart has spoken up about the issue in the past, publishing an article to The Players’ Tribune in October of 2020, detailing a personal experience in Boston.
The Celtics will be in Boston for Games 3 and 4 of the series, with TD Garden returning to nearly full capacity for Game 4. Game 3 tips off tomorrow at 8:30 PM on TNT.