Kyrie Irving’s Brooklyn return met with boos, cheers from Nets crowd


Much like his up-and-down career in Brooklyn, Mavericks star Kyrie Irving received mixed reactions in his return to Barclays Center on Tuesday night against the Nets.

As the starting lineups were announced, a colliding sound of boos and cheers was heard from the crowd.

Irving greeted the fans, waving to them like old friends.

The Nets did not give Irving the same treatment they gave Kevin Durant almost a week ago.

Irving didn’t receive a tribute video, but rather a “welcome back” photo of the eight-time All-Star, Seth Curry, and Markieff Morris, which was also met with a mixed reaction of boos and cheers.

Once the game started, the cheers for Irving ended.

After Irving missed his first shot — a 3-pointer — the arena erupted in boos for their former star who played three-plus seasons in Brooklyn.

Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving puts up a shot during Tuesday's game against the Nets in Brooklyn.
Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving puts up a shot during Tuesday’s game against the
Nets in Brooklyn. @dallasmavs / X

His second shot, a mid-range jumper, was also a miss, again greeted with boos.

But Irving eventually found his groove, hitting a step-back 3-pointer, as he scored six points in his first five shots and carried the Mavericks to a 31-24 lead after the first quarter with nine points.

Before the game, Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd wasn’t concerned with the crowd having an effect on Irving’s game.

“He’s a true pro. He’s going to come out and do whatever it takes to put us in a position to win,” Kidd said. “I think you saw that last night, his calming force. Being booed is a part of the … the fans have a right to do that. Just understanding that he’s going to come out and, I think, play at a high level.

“The atmosphere should be exciting, but also just understanding it’s been a year. This is his first time back and it should be fun. I think he will have fun with it.”


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