John Wall taken aback by vulgarity of Kelly Oubre Jr. chants
Boston Celtics fans filling TD Garden for Wednesday’s Game 5 showdown with the Washington Wizards were expected to give Kelly Oubre Jr. a rude welcome. But it was the vulgarity of the vitriol that came as a surprise to John Wall.
Oubre returned to the court for Game 5 after being suspended for Game 4 due to a physical confrontation in Game 3 with Celtics center Kelly Olynyk.
Wizards' Kelly Oubre crushes Celtics' Kelly Olynyk pic.twitter.com/1KZ62aj71K
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) May 5, 2017
The dust-up not surprisingly fostered for a hostile environment for Oubre on the Celtics’ home court.
And it got real ugly really fast.
Oubre hasn't touched the ball yet, but Garden crowd already taunting his name pic.twitter.com/wlddrB3p1u
— Eric Moskowitz (@GlobeMoskowitz) May 11, 2017
#celtics fans are chanting ‘OUBRE, OUBRE’ pic.twitter.com/pyVPVhTRa7
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) May 11, 2017
Chants quickly evolved from “We want Oubre!” to much more vulgar taunts, including, “(Expletive) you, Oubre!” The taunts could be readily heard during TNT’s broadcast of the game.
Wall, for one, while expecting some hostility, couldn’t believe how vulgar the chants got.
“We told [Oubre] what to expect from the crowd. We didn’t think it would be those type of words,” Wall told reporters following the Wizards’ 123-101 loss, which leaves the team down 2-3 in the series. “But all you can do is go out there and play basketball. We’re his brothers. We stick behind him.”
Oubre said ahead of Game 5 that he was almost looking forward to the vitriol he would undoubtedly receive from the pro-Celtics crowd. But Oubre admitted afterward he was slightly taken aback by it.
“I mean, that was definitely expected. I wasn’t really surprised with anything that I heard,” Oubre told reporters. “Just the amount of people yelling my name, just singling me out is crazy. But it’s definitely a blessing to be in this position. Monday, I want to get back here — we have to get back here — so we have to take care of business at home and get back here so I can hear my name some more. That’s the goal, and that’s what we got to do.”
Oubre, who scored 13 points on 5-for-10 shooting in 20 minutes of action, probably is relieved to have put such an ugly scene behind him, especially as the Wizards face elimination in Game 6 on their home court at Verizon Center.