Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving took umbrage with Jamal Murray’s last-second effort to reach 50 points on Monday night. The Denver Nuggets led 115-107 as the clock wound down, but the 21-year-old guard pulled up from deep anyway in an attempt to get to the half-century mark. Irving, unhappy with the young guard’s actions, took the ball and launched it into the stands.
Kyrie threw the ball into the crowd after Jamal Murray's attempt to make 50-points as the game ended pic.twitter.com/Vbx3oNxmaf— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) November 6, 2018
After a masterful 48-point performance, Irving said that he didn’t want to make a big deal out of the postgame events, but it was clear that the all-star guard wasn’t happy.
“I don’t want to make a big deal out of it. Obviously I was pissed at the game, but it’s time to decompress and move on,” said Irving. “Congratulations to him having 48 points. He did it in a great fashion against us. Our defense has to be better, especially against a player like that in the pick-and-roll. He was the primary concern tonight and he made us pay in certain instances of making some tough shots and some tough layups. But the ball deserves to go in the crowd after a b******t move like that. So I threw it in the crowd.”
Others seem to feel that this will be a lesson learned for the Kentucky product, giving him the benefit of the doubt thanks to his inexperience. Nuggets head coach Mike Malone said he spoke with Murray after the win. “He’s got to learn, and we talked about it, not taking that shot,” said Malone. “And he’s young, he’s still learning. You never want to disrespect anyone. I think it wasn’t disrespect. He was trying to get 50 points, which you understand, but our veterans hit him, talked to him, and it’s something he’ll learn from.”
Despite the late-game move, Murray backtracked on the shot, saying he meant no disrespect. “No disrespect to the Boston organization, the Boston fans for that last shot. I just had it in my mind I was going for 50,” Murray said. “I think everybody understood that’s what I was trying to do. I really didn’t mean no disrespect. I know half the team over there, so no hard feelings. It was just a fun game, and my emotions took over.”