Kendrick Perkins on Nets star's racism worry: 'It's always extra' with Kyrie Irving


Former Celtics center Kendrick Perkins offered his two cents on the Boston crowd after Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving said he was hoping for no “subtle racism” when the series returned to TD Garden.

Perkins on Tuesday was asked about his experience when he played for the Celtics after Boston’s loss to the Nets in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

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“Celtics fans are some of the best fans in the world. I played there for eight-and-a-half years. I lived there for eight-and-a-half years. And me personally, I never dealt with any type of racism while I was living in Boston,” Perkins said on “Celtics Postgame Live.”

“That’s just me personally. I never dealt with it. I also came back as an opponent of the Celtics. I played there with the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Cleveland Cavaliers and still never experienced any racism.

“It’s always extra with [Kyrie]. I don’t even know why we’re surprised by this comment. Just think about it, in New York the other night fans were chanting ‘F Trae Young.’ That don’t mean that they’re racist, that’s just, they’re ruthless. They’re just cheering on their team. But do we expect anything less than Kyrie to be extra about something?”

Irving was asked what he expected in his latest return to TD Garden and in a heightened atmosphere. Irving noted that it wasn’t his first time back playing in Boston against the Celtics, but he hoped for at least one thing.

“So I’m just looking forward to competing with my teammates and hopefully we can just keep it strictly basketball, there’s no belligerence or any racism going on, subtle racism and people yelling (stuff) from the crowd,” he said. “But even if it is, it’s part of the nature of the game and we’re just going to focus on what we can control.”

He was then asked whether he experienced something like that before.

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“I’m not the only one that could attest to this, but it is what it is. The whole world knows.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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