When Cleveland Cavaliers forward Jae Crowder returns to the Boston parquet Wednesday night, he’s hoping for a warm reception from the home crowd despite his new team.
“Fans have cheered for opposing team’s players before,” he told the Boston Globe‘s Gary Washburn. “I feel like they should do the same for me because I gave them a lot. I hope they give me a little cheer.”
Crowder, who was included in the Celtics’ package for Kyrie Irving this summer, will be returning to the TD Garden for the first time since getting traded to the Cavaliers. Although he’s hoping for a friendly welcome at his former stomping grounds, cheering for players on the opposing team wasn’t always cool with Crowder.
In January 2017, Boston fans gave Gordon Hayward a loud applause while he was still a member of the Utah Jazz. After the Celtics’ 115-104 victory, Crowder called the cheers for Hayward a “sign of disrespect.”
“I didn’t like that at all,” he said.
The 27-year-old proceeded to go express his displeasure with the crowd on Twitter later that evening. Many of the tweets have since been deleted, but he left his followers with one final message:
HOME TEAM FANS CHEERING FOR THE OPPOSING PLAYERS NOW.. AW MAN OK… SMH BUT GOOD WIN FELLAS ONTO THE NEXT ONE.!!
— JAE CROWDER (@CJC9BOSS) January 4, 2017
Crowder expressed regret for his tweets a couple of days later, but stood by his remarks.
“I still stand behind what I said,” he told reporters. “I live with that. I stand behind that 100 percent as a man, as a basketball player who puts my time away from my family into it.”
“You have to understand that was a little heat of the moment with those tweets,” he continued. “I really apologize for them. But I really do hope you guys understand where I’m coming from with the whole cheering for the opposing team.”
Despite his frustrations, however, Crowder had nothing but appreciation for the Celtics fanbase.
“Obviously, I don’t want to leave Boston,” he said at the time. “Obviously, I love it here. Obviously, the fans have treated me great. No doubt about that.”