Kyrie Irving has no regrets about profane reaction to fan’s taunt

Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving (11) in action during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Kyrie Irving in action against the Philadelphia 76ers, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, in Philadelphia. –AP Photo/Michael Perez

Kyrie Irving is not backing down from his response to a fan’s jeer during Boston’s Friday night contest in Philadelphia.

As Irving and the Celtics were walking through the tunnel to the visitor’s locker room at halftime, a 76ers fan shouted at the point guard: “Kyrie, where’s LeBron?” Irving appeared to look up and yell back at the heckler, who was recording the interaction. The video circulated the internet following the Celtics’ 102-92 victory.

When asked about the incident during practice on Saturday, Irving took “full responsibility” for what he said but had no regrets about his choice of words.

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“[The fan was] man enough to record it on video, then that’s all him,” he said. “I’m glad he got his ad name out there and then kinda five seconds of fame and it going viral. That’s the social media platform we live on. I take full responsibility for what I said — excuse the kids at home — and you move on.”

“At the end of the day, we’re human,” Irving continued. “It’s in heat of the moment and frustrations arise. We were at halftime; we were down by four in an environment, a season-opener in Philly. Being with a young team like we have here, just staying composed, handling that before we go in the locker room and addressing what we have to do in the locker room and then going out and handling business and getting the W, that’s really the only thing that matters to me.”

“But like I said, I take full responsibility for what I said. I don’t have any regrets for it.”

The 25-year-old said that the league has reached out to him, although he has not yet received any word about possible disciplinary measures. Celtics head coach Brad Stevens is aware that the NBA has contacted Irving, but he does not know what the league told him nor has he seen the video.

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When asked what he would say to his player, Stevens offered: “You guys know what the right thing to do is. People make mistakes, hopefully they learn from them. There’s a right and wrong, and if you’re in the wrong, you have to own up to it.”

Update: The league has fined Irving $25,000 for his language.