Kyrie Irving fined for flipping off crowd during Nets’ loss to Celtics

Irving directed multiple middle fingers and profane language toward Celtics fans in response to taunts during Game 1.

Celtics Kyrie Irving
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) drives toward the basket against Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) during the Celtics' win on Sunday. AP Photo/Steven Senne
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Sunday’s first-round opener against the Boston Celtics wasn’t the only thing Kyrie Irving lost the last few days.

The NBA has fined Kyrie Irving $50,000 for multiple middle finger gestures and directing profane language at Celtics fans during a tense game at TD Garden on Sunday.

Irving, a former Celtic who left town under acrimonious circumstances two seasons ago, said before Sunday’s game that he didn’t intend to engage with what promised to be a raucous fanbase intent on showing its displeasure for him. But after being showered with an unending stream of boos and taunts, Irving threw up a middle finger toward fans after hitting a jumper over Jayson Tatum and then later did so again before an inbounds play. He also shouted an expletive at a fan who yelled “Kyrie you suck!” at him as he walked off the court.


When asked about the incidents after the game, Irving said he didn’t regret going back at the fans despite his earlier proclamations: “The same energy they have for me, I’m going to have the same energy for them.”

“When people start yelling ‘p****’ or ‘b****’ and ‘f*** you’ and all this stuff, there’s only but so much you take as a competitor,” the mercurial point guard said. “We’re the ones expected to be docile and be humble, take a humble approach, f*** that, it’s the playoffs. This is what it is.”

Irving will surely get another strong round of jeers when his Nets play the Celtics in Game 2 on Wednesday. Boston is up 1-0.


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