Capacity TD Garden crowd needs more Kyrie Irving creativity for Game 4

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Tomase: Capacity crowd needs more Kyrie creativity for Game 4 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Five thousand Celtics fans did their job on Friday night and turned Kyrie Irving into an oddly detached spectator.

The Garden will be jammed on Sunday, and here's hoping the 17,000 in attendance really bring it.Call me puritanical, prudish, and/or a buzzkill, but I did not much care for Friday's jeer of choice.

Don't get me wrong, "Bleep you, Kyrie!" clearly rattled the former Celtics guard. When the Nets needed to overcome a fourth quarter deficit, a distracted Irving seemed more interested in exhorting the crowd than entering the Jayson Tatum torture chamber.

Every time Irving waved for fans to up the volume, he really announced, "You're in my head." A capacity crowd should do everything in its power to stay there for Sunday's Game 4 in what is suddenly, albeit remotely, a series.

There's got to be a better message than simply profaning him, however, and we're here to help. Just as Red Sox fans once started an impromptu call and response of, "Where is Roger? … In the shower!" after knocking former ace Roger Clemens out of a much ballyhooed matchup with Pedro Martinez in the 1999 playoffs, Celtics fans owe it to the city and their team to show Irving that they can take up residence in his cerebellum without crossing any lines.

And so, as a public service, here are some suggested jeers that might hit Irving where it hurts and keep him playing small.

1. "LeBron made you!"

Understanding Irving's pathologies, it's clear that his takeaway from winning a title with LeBron James wasn't to form a lasting partnership with the greatest player of this generation as a modern-day Scottie Pippen, but instead to escape his shadow and become The Man somewhere else.

He joined the Celtics, but rather than do the hard work of leading, he became a petulant excuse-maker who constantly blamed his younger teammates for the franchise's failings. By the time he shamefully quit during the 2019 playoffs, we couldn't wait for him to leave.

Let's remind Irving that even if he made the clinching shot in Cleveland's 2017 upset of the Warriors, he was just riding LeBron's coattails. And in many ways, he still is.

2. "Kyrie's a third wheel!" or simply, "Third wheel!"

Of course, as long as we're talking coattails, how about Game 3? While fellow stars Kevin Durant and James Harden exploded for 80 points, Irving delivered a listless 16 in Boston's 125-119 victory.Because he started the ball rolling on the whole Brooklyn thing, Irving clearly consider the Nets his team.

We've already addressed his need to feel like the sun around which the rest of a franchise orbits.Let's publicly puncture that myth and remind Irving of a point made by our own Kendrick Perkins: on a team with Harden and Durant, he's not Batman or even Robin -- he's Alfred.

3. "We didn't want you!"

Irving made headlines this week and thrust Boston back into an uncomfortable spotlight with what Jaylen Brown suggested were calculated declarations about fan belligerence and subtle racism. What Irving neglected to mention is that Celtics fans despise him because he abandoned them.

And what better way to remind him of that than to throw his most famously duplicitous announcement back in his face. It was only two and a half years ago that Irving memorably declared, "If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here."

We took him at his word and he betrayed us. Let's make sure he hears we weren't interested, even if it's obviously a lie.

4. "Kyyy-rie! … Kyyyy-Rie! …"

I mean, why mess with a classic? Red Sox fans hit Darryl Strawberry with this during the 1986 World Series and there's just something about mockingly drawing out a two-syllable name that's appropriately derisive. It's simple, and yet also the kind of thing that Irving won't be able to stop hearing. Whereas the "bleep you!" chants feel one-note aggressive, turning his name into its own insult connotes the utter disdain Celtics fans really feel.

5. "The Earth is round!"

There are meaner ways to say this, but we're trying to keep it classy. Irving fancies himself an intellectual even though many of his treatises on the human condition end up reading like spoiled word salad. Most famously, he contended for years that the earth was flat, because science is merely a construct and he just wanted to start a conversation about opposing viewpoints and Nikola Tesla something something and DO THE RESEARCH.

Anyway, Irving is liable to stop the game and grab a microphone to argue with the crowd if you question his ideas, and since the goal of this exercise is to get inside his head, might as well start here.