Kyrie Irving wasn't even in the arena on Wednesday night, yet you wouldn't have known that based on the reception he received from the crowd at TD Garden. Celtics fans were all over Irving from the moment the game started, and even before, blasting him for failing to show up to play his former team.
Well, the Nets point guard clearly heard all the noise, despite not being in attendance, and took to Instagram to share his side of things. Irving penned a long story discussing how sports and entertainment are, in his words, "ignorant and obtrusive."
Irving blasted people for overlooking the fact that athletes are human beings who have real issues going on in their lives off the court. There's a lot of pressure on NBA athletes to perform, and for the most part, fans don't give a seconds thought to how a player is feeling emotionally.
While Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan helped make some strides in that regard, mental health still a largely overlooked aspect the league.
And it certainly doesn't improve when a city who used to cheer for you, turns and relentlessly boos you. The criticism he faced on social media, the reaction from the fans, even analysts poking into his work ethic has all clearly impacted him, and resulted in the Nets' guard releasing this long post.
Kevin Durant chimed in on the matter and bashed some hating Celtics fans with a Tweet of his own.
While people may feel some type of way about Irving's exit from Boston or his shoulder injury that prevented him from taking part in the game on Wednesday, at the end of the day, he wants to remind everyone he's just a person.