In a decision announced on Tuesday, the NBA fined Brooklyn Nets star guard Kyrie Irving $50,000 for insulting a number of Boston Celtics fans on two separate occasions during Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
Kyrie Irving Fined $50,000 For Insulting Celtics Fans In Playoff Loss To Boston
President of league operations Byron Spruell issued a statement saying Irving had been disciplined for “making obscene gestures on the court and directing profane language toward the spectator stands.” Irving was suspended for one game.
When asked about his reaction to the Celtics’ 115-114 loss to Brooklyn on Sunday, Irving said he was responding to comments made by fans at TD Garden. He stated that he would bring “the same amount of energy” to the fans that they had for him in the previous performance.
In the competitive environment, “when people start yelling f—k you or f—k me or f—k you and all this stuff, there’s only so much you can take,” Irving explained. “That we should be docile and humble is expected of us, so we should approach the situation with humility. It’s the postseason, so [expletive] that. The situation is as follows.”
In an interview with the Boston Herald on Sunday, Irving, who played for the Celtics for two seasons from 2017-19, admitted that, since leaving the team, he has grown accustomed to being booed by the city’s supporters. In the 2017-18 season, a water bottle was thrown at the seven-time All-Star guard by someone in the crowd as he exited the court at the TD Garden.
According to Irving, 30, there was “subtle racism” from the TD Garden crowd at times during the previous season.In Game 1 against the Celtics, Irving led the Nets with 39 points, six assists, and four steals. It has been scheduled for Wednesday night to play Game 2 of the best-of-seven series.