Half man, half a season, Kyrie Irving didn’t just let his play shut up Boston Celtics fans who are still saltier than a bag of Lay’s potatoes chips after he dissed them and their mascot. He decided to flip them off too. Irving’s actions on Easter Sunday during their Game 1 matchup with the Celtics cost him a large sum.
ESPN reports that Irving was fined $50,000 for “making obscene gestures on the playing court and directing profane language toward the spectator stands.” In a statement shared on Tuesday (Apr.19), the NBA president of league operations, Byron Spruell, announced Irving’s punishment.
Following the Nets’ heartbreaking 115-114 loss, Irving told reporters he responded to the energy he was receiving from Celtics fans that night.
“When people start yelling ‘p—y’ or ‘b—-‘ and ‘f— you’ and all this stuff, there’s only but so much you take as a competitor,” Irving said. “We’re the ones expected to be docile and be humble, take a humble approach, f— that, it’s the playoffs. This is what it is.”
Kyrie Irving comments on the Boston crowd. pic.twitter.com/yvdAm3WM7i
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) April 17, 2022
Ahead of Game 2, Kevin Durant had a very thought-provoking take on why fans react the way they do after NBA superstars leave a team to go to another.
“It’s rooted in love,” Durant said. “They once loved you. They once cheered for you and, bought your merchandise, and had life-altering experiences coming to games watching you play. 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.”
Kevin Durant on Celtics fans’ hostility toward Kyrie Irving: “It’s rooted in love. They once loved you…had life altering experiences coming to games watching you play. So when it gets ripped from them in a trade…it feels like a piece of them is gone too.” pic.twitter.com/P1b6jNnrDq
— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) April 19, 2022
Nets head coach Steve Nash was asked if he would like to see Irving stop giving the Celtics fans attention. He simply told the reporter, “I don’t care,” adding, “What did he have?” with the reporter responding, “39.” Nash replied, “I’ll keep it at that,” after pausing, shrugging his shoulders, and smiling.
Even ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who has been one of Kyrie Irving’s biggest critics due to him not being on the court because of the vaccine mandate, had no issue with Irving flipping off fans during the game.
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) April 18, 2022
We shall see if Kyrie Irving has another stellar performance in Game 2. The Celtics fans will definitely be on one again, making sure Irving knows they really don’t like him.
Photo: Boston Globe / Getty