Now, with those teams meeting in the playoffs, Irving is Public Enemy No. 1 in Boston.
Brooklyn star Kevin Durant:
It’s rooted in love. They once loved you. They once cheered for you and bought your merchandise and had life-altering experiences coming to games watching you play. So, when that kind of gets ripped from them from just something like a trade or demanding a trade or wanting to leave, it feels like a piece of them is gone too. So, it’s an emotional attachment that they have to professional sports. And that’s a gift and curse of having a team in your city where you grew up. But it shows that people care and people have emotions and people really accept and admire who we are as individuals. Sometimes, it gets a little dark and deep. But that’s just how the human brain works. So, we understand all of that, and the fans understand where we’re coming from now at this point, too, because we all have our own platforms and speak on stuff like this. So, it’s healthy once everybody understands both sides.
Durant – who knows about leaving teams – is exactly right. A playoff opponent can be loathed. But it requires a deeper connection to spark the hate Boston fans are sending Irving. This is the exact type of emotion that led to the proverb “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”
But Irving’s situation has additional complications.
Where Durant appeared to give his all to the Thunder then Warriors before leaving, Irving brooded through his last season with the Celtics, self–destructing in the playoffs. Boston fans might feel more bitter if Irving did more to become beloved with the Celtics.
But, yes, the fundamental issue: Celtics fans feel betrayed.