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"I Thought It Was Going To Be A Little Louder In Here" - Kyrie Irving Trying To Pretend Like The Garden Wasn't In His Head In Game 1 Was Classic Bait

Maddie Meyer. Getty Images.

Ahead of the Finals, one of the biggest storylines of the series was Kyrie vs Boston. All this talk about he's Boston's biggest villain and all that nonsense, you knew it was coming the second the Mavs eliminated the Wolves. It's certainly not a new narrative given the fact we've been dealing with it ever since he left for the Nets, and it's going to be this way for Kyrie's entire career.

At the time, I blogged about how personally, I don't really give a shit about Kyrie anymore. It's been 5 years. The Celts have already swept Kyrie in a playoff series. I care about seeing the Celtics win the NBA title. My feelings towards Kyrie were mostly rooted around what he did in the MIL series back in 2019 where he openly quit and tanked the series, but I certainly understand why some out there are still out for blood when it comes to Kyrie. As long as you're not being a gigantic asshole, go nuts as far as I'm concerned.

During the game, it was pretty much what I think most people expected. He was booed every time he touched the ball, I don't really remember too many Kyrie chants, but then again I was mostly blacked out as Porzingis ripped that team apart. Given the fact that Kyrie was brutal, it's hard to know how much of that was the Celts defense, how much of that was an off night, and how much of that was the crowd getting into his head.

My guess? A combination of all three.

Which is why I found his postgame comments about the crowd interesting. You know how you can tell it was a factor and got under that players' skin? They can't wait to tell you about how much it wasn't a factor

I've experienced the Kyrie postgame comment world enough to know what this is

Giphy Images.

For starters, Mike Gorman, a man who has never told a lie in his life, already told us that Kyrie getting into it with a fan seemed to get him off his game

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“He was very busy during the same,” Mike Gorman said on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Hardy.” “He had a running dialogue going on with a guy in about the sixth row. He’s running up and down the court, and he’s yelling at this guy and giving this guy kind of the finger. It’s just crazy.”

Sounds to me like it did make an impact, so why do I consider what Kyrie said after the game bait?

Simple. He wants the talk and the narrative to eventually shift from his play to the crowd. You know it's coming. It's the classic type of diversion we saw all the time while he was a Celtic. By baiting Celts fans like this after Game 1, he's trying to create something for Game 2. Then, if he plays poorly again, that becomes the story and not his performance. All this talk of growth and not even focusing on it, all it took was that 1 minute video to see that is very much not the case. 

You know what would happen if this wasn't something that bothered you/was on your mind? You don't even bring it up. If it's asked in a presser, you dodge it. Not to mention, that Garden was loud as shit in Game 1, which makes that comment even funnier. It wasn't a dead crowd by any means. 

My advice? Don't take the bait. You know what's better than getting on Kyrie's ass? Burying the Mavs and winning this title. We've lived this Kyrie rodeo before, and honestly there are bigger fish to fry at the moment. Don't let him off the hook and do some stupid shit because he's calling out the fans after Game 1. That's what he wants. 

As a Mavs fan, you're probably hoping this was a one-time thing, but I have to admit, this Kyrie performance looked somewhat familiar to me

When he starts having focus issues in a series, things tend to look like we saw last night. He already has Jrue Holiday to deal with who held him to just 4 points on 28 possessions in Game 1, so the natural move given Kyrie's history in this situation is to try and insert something other than basketball into the equation…aka the fans.

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If anything, if there was one side that truly looked like the whole Kyrie saga was a nonfactor, it was the Boston side despite Kyrie trying like hell to make it seem like he wasn't bothered.