Sunday was not a good day for the Mavericks and Kyrie Irving.
In addition to losing their second-straight game to the Hornets (and fourth straight overall) to fall out of even the play-in out West, Irving had a Hornets fan ejected from the game Sunday. Irving pointed the situation out to the referee, and soon arena security was involved and the man was escorted out.
Security removed a fan from the Mavericks-Hornets game after Kyrie Irving spoke with the referee. pic.twitter.com/cx4LeXevyG
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 26, 2023
A fan has been ejected for heckling Kyrie Irving pic.twitter.com/FdEg69flHp
— Bally Sports: Hornets (@HornetsOnBally) March 26, 2023
It is unclear what the fan said to Irving, but more players in recent years have taken this step with fans they feel had crossed the line of common decency. Irving addressed the situation in his postgame press conference.
“He called me out my name. So I just had to make sure I looked him eye to eye and see if he’d say it to my face.”
-Kyrie Irving on getting a fan ejected. pic.twitter.com/fhi7tNxUgP
— Jerry Donatien (@JerryDonatien) March 26, 2023
Irving and the Mavericks heard boos from their fans at home last Friday during a loss to these same Hornets, and Irving’s response that night was more defiant in tone.
“So what? Just the way I feel about it. I’ve been in New York City so I know what that’s like. You obviously want to play well, but there’s only five people on the court who 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. But our focus isn’t necessarily on the boos, it should be on the performance.”
That performance has been lacking — the Mavericks have lost four in a row, 7-of-9, and if the postseason started today they would be fishing in Cabo. Irving hasn’t been the problem (the Mavericks are 4.5 per 100 possessions better when he is on the court), but he hasn’t been the solution, either. Irving is a free agent after this season and said he and Luka Dončić are still getting used to playing with one another.
Check out more on the Mavericks
Three things to Know: Mavericks slumping way right out of playoffs Watch Dončić pick up 16th technical, will result in one-game suspension Frustration rising within Mavericks, ‘We got to fight hard, play harder’
Kyrie Irving has fan ejected during road loss to Hornets originally appeared on NBCSports.com