BOSTON — Former Celtics guard Kyrie Irving was nearly hit with a water bottle thrown by a fan after his Brooklyn Nets embarrassed the Celtics on their home court on Sunday night.
After the game ended, a 141-126 Nets victory, Irving went to center court where he wiped his shoe on the Celtics logo, and as he walked toward the locker room, a fan threw a water bottle that whizzed inches by Irving’s head.
The guard raised his hand to point out the fan, Cole Buckley, 21, of Braintree, and Boston Police were there moments later. The fan was taken away in handcuffs and is now facing charges for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
The Boston Police Department told Boston 25 a second suspect, William Leite, 35, of North Oxford, was also arrested during Sunday night’s game at approximately 8:28 p.m. for allegedly assaulting an officer.
During the altercation, police say Leite refused to leave TD Garden while the game was in progress.
“You’re not strong enough to arrest me,” Leite said.
The suspect then allegedly assaulted an officer, which caused a minor scuffle to ensue and resulted in Leite’s arrest. He is now facing trespassing and resisting arrest charges along with disturbing the peace and an assault and battery on a police officer.
TD Garden released a statement Monday regarding the Sunday night incident:
A guest was arrested by Boston Police at the end of tonight’s Boston Celtics game for throwing an object. We will support and provide assistance to Boston Police as this incident is under review. We have zero-tolerance for violations of our guest code of conduct, and the guest is subject to a lifetime ban from TD Garden.— Tricia McCorkle, TD Garden spokesperson
Before the series started, Irving expressed concerns over the way he might be treated by Celtics fans. He asked that belligerence and racism be left out of the first-round playoff series and said he experienced racism before in the city.
Irving played for the Celtics for two years, during which time he said he would re-sign with the team once reaching free agency, then bolted for the Brooklyn Nets where he became part of a super team built around Kevin Durant, Irving, and then, this year, James Harden.
“People feel very entitled out there,” Irving stated. “Fans have to grow up at some point, his teammate, Kevin Durant, said.
Celtics guard Marcus Smart denounced the fan’s actions but added that fans in the Garden as a whole have been great.
There were several incidents at different NBA arenas over the past week, including in Philadelphia when a fan threw popcorn in Wizards guard Russell Westbrook, a Knicks fan spit on Hawks guard Trae Young, and Grizzlies phenom Ja Morant’s family were subject to heckling while attending a game in Utah.
A spokesperson for the TD Garden said Buckley, who threw the bottle, is subject to a lifetime ban. Boston 25 News asked how that would be enforced by Garden officials and did not hear back.
Both suspects are expected to be arraigned at Boston Municipal Court Department Tuesday, June 1.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.
©2021 Cox Media Group