Celtics

Watch: Kyrie Irving gives Celtics fans the middle finger in Game 1

Kyrie Irving gave Celtics fans a little gesture in Game 1. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

It’s no secret that there’s a rivalry between Kyrie Irving and the Celtics fanbase, and another chapter of that rivalry was written on Sunday.

Late in the third quarter of Game 1, Irving made a difficult 2-pointer in the corner as the shot clock expired. As he went back on defense, Irving quickly turned and raised his middle finger up to the Celtics’ crowd at TD Garden.

Irving’s had some tense moments with Celtics fans since he left Boston in 2019. Celtics fans jeered him during a game against the Nets in 2019, which Irving didn’t play in. During the 2021 first-round series between the Celtics and Nets — Irving’s first games back in Boston with fans in the stands — he was booed whenever he touched the ball and received consistent “Kyrie sucks!” chants.

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Following the Nets’ Game 4 win in that series, Irving stomped on the Celtics’ logo at midcourt before a fan threw a water bottle at him as he went back to the locker room.

Irving received jeers again throughout Game 1, especially after his elbow connected with Celtics guard Marcus Smart’s face on a shot attempt in the third quarter.

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