Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving lashed out at hecklers during his team’s playoff loss to his former team, the Boston Celtics — and racked up a $50,000 fine from the league for doing so.
At several points during Sunday’s game, Irving flashed middle fingers at the audience and yelled at Celtics fans in the tunnels.
“Suck my d***,” Irving responded to one Celtics fan who called after him, “Kyrie, you suck!”
Kyrie LMFAO pic.twitter.com/0VECS2c2QR
— 🎽 (@WestbrookHas2Go) April 17, 2022
“Kyrie hits the shot and gives the middle finger salute to the crowd. Gonna be a fun series,” Barstool Sports tweeted.
Kyrie hits the shot and gives the middle finger salute to the crowd. Gonna be a fun series. pic.twitter.com/KKN9WoDSGY
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) April 17, 2022
And he did it again.
Kyrie double middle fingers. 💀
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) April 17, 2022
Irving explained the situation during an interview, which the Nets lost in the final moments.
Kyrie Irving comments on the Boston crowd. pic.twitter.com/yvdAm3WM7i
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) April 17, 2022
“Look where I’m from you know I’m used to all these antics, people being close nearby. You know, it’s nothing new when I come into this building and what it’s gonna be like, but it’s the same energy they have for me, and I’m gonna have the same energy for them,” Irving explained.
“And it’s not every fan, I don’t want to attack every fan, every Boston fan, but you know, when people start yelling ‘p****’ or ‘b***’ or ‘f*** you’ and all this stuff it’s about so much you can take as a competitor,” Irving continued. “And, you know, we’re the ones expected to be docile and be humble and take a humble approach, nah f*** that, it’s the playoffs.”
His antics did not come without a price, however. On Tuesday, news broke that the NBA was fining Irving $50,000 for his behavior.
The NBA has fined Kyrie Irving $50,000.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 19, 2022
Byron Spruell, president of league operations, said in a statement that Irving was being fined for “making obscene gestures on the playing court and directing profane language toward the spectator stands.”
It was not the first time Irving has been penalized for using profane language toward fans — earlier in the year, the league fined him for yelling “mother****er” at a fan who gave him a hard time in Cleveland.
Teammate Kevin Durant weighed in on the situation as well, noting that some of the tension was rooted in the fact that Irving played for the Celtics just a few years earlier.
“It’s rooted in love. They once loved you. They once cheered for you and bought your merchandise and had life-altering experiences coming to games watching you play,” he explained. “So when that kind of gets ripped from them from just something like a trade or demanding a trade or wanting to lead, they feel like a piece of them is gone too.”
He went on to say that Irving may or may not be happy playing the villain in the scenario — and that could change from game to game.
“Some days he might be up for it; some days he might not. But he understands what this job entails. We understand what this situation is. So he might not be in the mood for it next game, who knows,” he said.
Game two between the Nets and the Celtics is scheduled for Wednesday.
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest growing conservative media companies for breaking news, investigative reporting, sports, podcasts, in-depth analysis, books, and entertainment for a reason: because we believe in what we do. We believe in our country, in the value of truth and the freedom to speak it, and in the right to challenge tyranny wherever we see it. Believe the same? Become a member now and join our mission.