Celtics fan charged with felony assault and battery in Kyrie Irving water bottle incident

A Celtics fan has found himself in legal trouble after he allegedly threw a water bottle at Nets star Kyrie Irving.

Cole Buckley, a 21-year-old Braintree native, was arrested shortly after the incident at the TD Garden took place and charged Monday with “assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.” He will be arraigned on Friday and is also facing a lifetime ban from the arena.

And as law professor Michael McCann detailed on Twitter, the felony charge will carry serious consequences for Buckley, though he could take a plea deal to lower the charge/sentence.

It’s unclear exactly what will happen with Buckley pending his arraignment Tuesday. But it’s an important result for the NBA amid a rash of player/fan incidents in recent weeks. Buckley’s arrest and the ban of fans that have dumped popcorn on Russell Westbrook, spat on Trae Young and hurled racist and vulgar comments at the family of Ja Morant could help deter further outbursts of poor fan behavior during NBA playoff games, which has drawn critical remarks from players over the past week.

Most notably, Kevin Durant said fans need to “grow the f— up,” speaking about Buckley and the rash of other incidents around the league.

“Fans got to grow up at some point,” Durant said after Sunday’s game. “I know that being in the house for a year and a half with the pandemic got a lot of people on edge, got a lot of people stressed out, but when you come to these games, you have to realize these men are human.

“We are not animals; we are not in the circus. You coming to the game is not all about you as a fan. So, have some respect for the game. Have some respect for human beings, and have some respect for yourself. Your mother wouldn’t be proud of you throwing water bottles at basketball players or spitting on players or tossing popcorn. So, grow the f— up, and enjoy the game. It’s bigger than you.”

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