Although Sunday’s Game 1 between the Celtics and Nets was an instant classic, the spectacular finish was not the only story. There’s been as much discussion about Nets point guard Kyrie Irving. During the game, Irving directed his middle finger (or fingers) at the Boston crowd on multiple occasions. After the game, he was caught on video exchanging profanities with another fan.
On Tuesday, the league took action against Irving. He’ll be fined $50,000 dollars as a result of the incidents. The league memo reads exactly, “Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving has been fined $50,000 for making obscene gestures on the playing court and directing profane language toward the spectator stands.”
The animosity between Irving and Celtics fans goes back to his departure from the team in 2019. Prior to that, he had claimed he was planning on staying in Boston long-term. He ended up signing with the Brooklyn Nets instead, and since then has been booed whenever he touches the ball at TD Garden.
“It’s nothing new when I come into this building what it’s going to be like. But it’s the same energy they have for me – I’m going to have the same energy for them,” Irving said when asked about the gestures after Game 1. “This isn’t my first time at TD Garden so what you guys saw, what you guys think is entertainment, or the fans think is entertainment, all is fair in competition.”
Irving also said he plans to “embrace” the villain role throughout the series. “It’s the dark side. Embrace it,” he added.
Will this fine settle things down between Irving and the Boston fans? Or will things reach another level during Game 2? The series continues Wednesday night in Boston.
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