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In this week’s poll, we asked fans which first-round playoff matchup they believed would be the most entertaining to watch. The results weren’t even close. Roughly 62% of the participants said they were most looking forward to the star studded matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets.
This matchup has everything a true NBA fan could want. Aside from the obvious attraction of watching Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving take on Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart, there are a couple interesting narratives.
Will the Nets actually live up to the hype? Will Tatum and company bring glory back to Boston? How will Irving play while fasting for Ramadan? Will Ben Simmons play basketball?
The most interesting narrative, the rivalry between Kyrie Irving the city of Boston.
Irving played for two years in Boston and seemingly vowed he would never leave. Only to leave less than a calendar year later to join Durant in Brooklyn.
If you know anything about Irving, he is a very unique individual. He has a lot of strong beliefs and is not afraid to share them. He is also very vocal about race relations in the USA, specifically the treatment of Black people.
"You’re seeing a lot of old ways come up ... just underlying racism and treating people like they’re in a human zoo."— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 31, 2021
–Kyrie on fans throwing things at players pic.twitter.com/vyMKqeh216
In Boston, there is a history of deep racism and prejudice shown by the fans of the Celtics, Red Sox, and Patriots. Obviously, Irving was not proud to be a part of that and feels some resentment towards the franchise and its fans. Leading to him providing some theatrics when he is back in Boston.
Kyrie Irving steps on the Celtics logo with a little extra force. pic.twitter.com/qaoTB1Zy5T— BasketballNews.com (@basketbllnews) May 31, 2021
Kyrie Irving has been fined $50,000 by the NBA for flipping off Celtics fans and cussin' at them during Sunday's playoff game in Boston. https://t.co/yrPhf2nyvE— TMZ (@TMZ) April 19, 2022
Lots of athletes have beef with each other and other teams. It’s part of sports. But imagine having to play against that rival in a best of seven series with a run at championship on the line.
To put it easily, tensions are high.
So far the series has lived up to the hype. Even though the Celtics are up 3-0, there has been no lack of entertainment. With the series headed back to Brooklyn, the Celtics’ luck may start to fade.
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