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#pounditTuesday, June 18, 2024

Kevin Durant shares why he thinks Celtics fans hate Kyrie Irving

Kevin Durant dribbles

Oct 11, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) in action against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

There is probably no player in the NBA that Boston Celtics fans despise more than Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant has a theory on why they are so hostile toward his teammate.

Irving was fined $50,000 on Tuesday for his actions toward Celtics fans during the Brooklyn Nets’ loss to Boston in Game 1. The star point guard gave fans the middle finger multiple times and cursed at least one other fan. Durant was asked on Tuesday what it is like to play in front of an entire arena of people who despise you. He said the treatment is “rooted in love.”

“It’s rooted in love. They once loved you. They once cheered for you and bought your merchandise,” Durant said. “Life-altering experiences come at the games watching you play. When that gets ripped from them from something like a trade or wanting to leave, they feel like a piece of them is gone, too.

“There’s an emotional attachment that they have to professional sports. That’s a gift and a curse, having a team in your city where you grew up. That shows that people care and people have emotions and really respect and admire who we are as individuals. Sometimes it gets a little dark and deep, but that’s just how the human brain works.”

You can hear more of Durant’s comments below:

That logic certainly applies to Durant’s relationship with Oklahoma City Thunder fans. They worshipped him and were crushed when he left them for the Golden State Warriors. But is that how Celtics fan feel about Irving?

Sure, fans in Boston were optimistic when the team acquired Irving. Things then went south in a hurry, and most fans would have gladly contributed to a GoFundMe to buy Irving a plane ticket out of town. Irving had issues with his teammates in Boston and was a poor leader. He constantly pointed the finger at others for the team’s shortcomings. He also openly questioned coaches.

Irving has conveniently compared Celtics fans to a scorned ex, but that is revisionist history at its finest. He was despised before he left Boston. In this instance, the hatred is not rooted in love.

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