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Kyrie Irving did not have any patience for a fan in the crowd at Sunday’s road game against the Hornets. Although the circumstances of the exchange are unclear, the 31-year-old Mavericks point guard had the man escorted out of the arena.
Midway through the third quarter, while trailing by seven, Irving flagged an official to a man on the other end of the court. The man was wearing a Redskins hat and D.C. United shirt— which is weird attire for a basketball game in Charlotte.
Nevertheless, security converged on the man and asked him to leave, per Irving’s request. Throughout the arena, a chorus of boos broke out.
After a moment of objection, and a quick boo of his own, the man obliged. He got up and was escorted out. It seemed as though he may have even had to leave his significant other behind, because the women sitting to his left did not budge.
On his way up the Spectrum Center stairs and out, the man took time to dap up some of the people around him on the stairs and even tipped his hat to the crowd.
It is unclear as to what the man may have said or done to warrant the reaction from Irving. However, seeing that the man was on the other side of the court when Irving made his case for ejection, it stuck with him long enough for him to want him thrown out even after the following possession.
Maybe it was simply the man’s hat, considering Irving’s relationship with the Native American community? Likely not, but it may have played a role.
Whatever it was, Kyrie Irving wasn’t having it.
Irving having a fan ejected on the road came two days after he and the Mavericks were booed at home in a loss to the Hornets on Friday. At the time, he challenged the fans that booed him to switch places.
You obviously want to play well, but it’s only five people on the court that can play for the Dallas Mavericks. If the fans wanna change places, then hey, be my guest. Got years of work ahead to be great enough to be on this level.— Kyrie Irving on Friday
The incident on Sunday, though separate, may have included some lingering frustration. Dallas is currently 36-38, in serious danger of missing the playoffs.
To make matters worse, the Mavericks are just 3-7 when Irving and Luka Doncic play together. That, obviously, is not what they want.
There is enough time for Irving and Doncic to click and for Dallas to figure it out. In the meantime, Irving isn’t interested in whatever the Redskins hat-wearing fan had to say.