Kyrie Irving Defends His Actions after Celtics Fan Offenses

Kyrie Irving defends his actions against Boston Celtics fans after first postseason game
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) passes the ball under pressure from Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams (12) in the first half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round Eastern Conference playoff series, Sunday, April 17, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

During the defeat of the Brooklyn Nets at the hands of the Boston Celtics by just one point in the first game of the NBA playoff series, Kyrie Irving, star point guard of the Nets and former Celtics player, was one of the main protagonists thanks to his performance and his actions, both related to the sport and those that have nothing to do with the game played.

Kyrie Irving defends his actions against Boston Celtics fans after first postseason game
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) passes the ball under pressure from Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams (12) in the first half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round Eastern Conference playoff series, Sunday, April 17, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

In the TD Garden that night, several scenes were captured on video in which the 30-year-old point guard responded to insults from fans in the rows closest to the court with offensive gestures made through his hand, on two occasions to be exact. Post-game, he was also caught responding to a fan with insults in response to the Boston fan’s criticism.

In the post-game interview, Irving held absolutely nothing back and took responsibility for his actions, but not in the way many would think: indeed, the Brooklyn point guard defended his communication with Celtics fans.

Kyrie Irving’s Words after the Game

“Look, where I’m from, I’m used to all these antics and people being close nearby. It’s nothing new when I come into this building what it’s going to be like — but it’s the same energy they have for me, I’m going to have the same energy for them. And it’s not every fan, I don’t want to attack every fan, every Boston fan. When people start yelling ‘p—y’ or ‘b—-‘ and ‘f— you’ and all this stuff, there’s only but so much you take as a competitor.”

”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.” It’s the same energy I’m giving back to them. It is what it is. I’m not really focused on it, it’s fun, you know what I’m saying? Where I’m from I’ve dealt with so much, so coming in here you relish it as a competitor. … This isn’t my first time at TD Garden so what you guys saw, what you guys think is entertainment, or the fans think is entertainment, all is fair in competition.”

So if somebody’s going to call me out on my name, I’m gonna look at them straight in the eye and see if they really ’bout it. Most of the time they’re not.”

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving on his interactions with Boston Celtics fans.

It’s no secret that Celtics fans don’t have the best relationship with Kyrie Irving, having spent time with the team during 2017 and 2019, in which while he did perform well individually (24.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.3 steals through 127 games, in addition to two All-Star Game selections), the Celtics didn’t advance past the conference semifinals in the postseason.

Kyrie Irving defends his actions against Boston Celtics fans after first postseason game (2)
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) shoots at the basket as Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) defends in the first half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round Eastern Conference playoff series, Sunday, April 17, 2022, in Boston. The Celtics won 115-114. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Since then the relationship between the two sides has been steadily deteriorating, with Irving’s various statements and actions making that more than clear, and the atmosphere at TD Garden every time he shows up there always being a focal point when the Nets and Celtics play each other. Irving had 39 points, six assists, five rebounds and four steals during the first game of the series.

The second game of the series will also take place in Boston this Wednesday, April 20 at 7:00 PM ET.

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