If Kyrie Irving‘s goal with the burning sage purification ritual pregame was to keep Celtics fans from booing him, it worked.
Kyrie Irving was back in the TD Garden Friday night as the Nets took on the Celtics in the final preseason game for both teams. Irving had a rough final season in Boston and did not seem a fit with the city. He did not join the Nets when they played at the Garden last season (due to injury) but Celtics’ fans booed him anyway. This time he was suiting up to play, although with no fans in the building.
Friday night, pregame, Irving walked around the court burning sage — a purification ritual in many Native American cultures (as well as other cultures around the world), one seen as helping cleanse a negative space. Which the Garden certainly is for Irving.
On the ESPN broadcast they said Irving also did this at the Barclays Centre before the Brooklyn preseason game there. This may be his new thing.
It should be noted Irving’s mother was of Sioux heritage; he has ties to Native American cultures.
That said, is Irving also trolling Celtics fans by burning sage? You bet he is. Irving always had a gift for that.