For a small chunk of Kyrie Irving's basketball career, he wore Boston green. From 2017 to 2019, he was the Celtics' biggest star and leading offensive scorer.
Irving would end up leaving the franchise after just 127 games, giving up on the team and burning many bridges on his way out.
Today, as Kyrie faces off against his former franchise, and players who he once called his teammates, it is no surprise to anyone to hear many fans in the area still hold a deep grudge for the 7x All-Star.
According to Nets star Kevin Durant, however, the boos are not actually about hate. The reason for all the heat is actually rooted in love.
“It’s rooted in love. They once loved you…had life altering experiences coming to games watching you play. So when it gets ripped from them in a trade…it feels like a piece of them is gone too.”
NBA analyst Nick Wright provided a different explanation in a long and passionate rant.
“Here is the timeline. Signs with Celtics. First year there, doesn’t go great. He skips out on game 7, doesn’t sit with the team on the bench -- that was odd. Then that summer, ‘I’ll be here for life if you’ll have me.’ Immediately starts planning to play with Kevin Durant. Gets asked about that, says 'two friends can't just chat what is wrong with you guys. By the way, the young players on this team stink and are selfish, they need to follow me.' Then we get the playoffs. 'Hey guys, I got Giannis, I'll guard him.' Meanwhile, Giannis will baptise me. I'll go 6-18 every single game and then leave.' Then, when I finally come back, I'll step on that stupid leprechaun's face and then be like 'why does everybody hate me.' Then I'll flip people off, tell them to perform sexual acts on me while I'm walking to the locker room."
No matter how you feel about Irving, there is no question that he could have handled his Boston exit better. he made promises he failed to keep, threw his teammates under the bus, and straight-up disrespected the franchise during one of his return trips to the city.
Uncle Drew and the Boston Celtics have a deep and complicated history. At one point, there was mutual love and respect between them, but now there's only tension and regret.
All-in-all, it's hard to blame Boston basketball fans for feeling a certain way about their former star point guard.