Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has been fined $50,000 – the max fine allowable – for his comments and gestures toward Boston Celtics fans in Game 1 of the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs (a game that the Nets lost at the buzzer, in case you needed a reminder).
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has been fined $50,000 for middle finger gestures to fans on Sunday in Boston, as well as profane language.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 19, 2022
There were four separate incidents that led to this fine. Kyrie Irving was caught on camera giving the middle finger to the crowd (or perhaps one fan in particular) after hitting a tough fadeaway jumpshot (foot on the line) over Jaylen Brown as he got back on defense. Later, while waiting to inbound the ball, Irving was seen on the broadcast holding his hands behind his head, followed by him mimicking crying faces as a way to mock the Celtics fans behind him who were clearly sending taunts his way.
A behind-the-scenes video surfaced on social media later that when Irving was holding his hands behind his head, he was actually giving two middle fingers. Incredible efficiency there on a night in which he put up 39 points on 60% shooting. Just an all-around and complete effort from Irving on that front. Unfortunately, his defense wasn’t as up to par, leading to Jayson Tatum spinning right by him for an easy game-winning layup at the buzzer.
Finally, at halftime, Irving was caught on camera responding to a fan taunt in which he said, “s*** my d***.” As coaches often say in film sessions, film never lies. Finally, in the postgame conference while he was explaining his actions, Irving stated, “It’s not every fan . . . I don’t want to attack every Boston fan, but when people start yelling p---y, b---h and f—k you and all that, there is only so much you can take as a competitor.”
As a result, Kyrie Irving will be out $50,000. It’s been one game. Irving also has to contend with the TD Garden crowd tomorrow night for Game 2, so we’ll see if he’ll head back to Brooklyn down $100,000 or if he’ll take a different approach as the Nets face a 0-1 hole in the series.
Game 2 is tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. EST on TNT.