Dallas suffered their second consecutive shock loss to Charlotte on Sunday and one fan took things too far with the heckling at Spectrum Center.
Early in the third quarter, Dallas guard Kyrie Irving walked towards the Mavericks bench during a break in play with a referee, who pointed out a fan sitting in the stands.
A fan has been ejected for heckling Kyrie Irving pic.twitter.com/FdEg69flHp
— Bally Sports: Hornets (@HornetsOnBally) March 26, 2023
The fan and Irving exchanged words and security could be seen removing him from the venue.
Video has since emerged of how Irving responded in the moment.
“Say it to my face”
Kyrie doesn’t put up with none of that fan bullshit and I love it 🗣 (via vietluu2023/TT) pic.twitter.com/4xLhyKdNNl
— Overtime (@overtime) March 27, 2023
After the game, Irving also clarified what went down to the media: “He just called me out my name, so I just had to make sure I looked him eye-to-eye, see if he would say it to my face. A lot of fans say things when you’re turning your head or say it in the crowd cause they can get away with it, but, majority of the time if I could look a fan in the face and see if they really want to say that to me. So he yelled it, I handled it.”
The NBA’s Fan Code of Conduct says fans are expected to “respect and appreciate” the players as well as “ enjoy the basketball experience free from disruptive behavior, including foul or abusive language and obscene gestures”, so it seems this fan wasn’t adhering to those rules.
Irving has clearly had enough of fans and their antics, as earlier this month he went on a twitch rant about how people think they know him just because he plays in the NBA.