Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving, perhaps to no surprise, was met with boos at the start of Game 1 against the Boston Celtics and it remained that way throughout Sunday afternoon.
That eventually prompted Irving to flash his middle finger at Celtics fans not once, but twice during the game. The boiling frustration, which came during Boston’s 115-114 victory at the buzzer, also led Irving to respond to a fan who yelled, “Kyrie, you suck!” with NSFW vulgarities as the All-Star guard entered the Nets locker room.
Irving was asked about the environment at TD Garden, and what caused him to respond the way he did.
“It’s the same energy they have for me, and I’m gonna have the same energy for them,” Irving said, per NBC Sports Boston. “And it’s not every fan. I don’t want to attack every Boston fan. But when people start yelling (expletive) and (expletive) and (expletive) and all this stuff, there’s only so much you can take as a competitor.
“We’re the ones who are expected to be docile and be humble and take a humble approach. Nah, (expletive) that. It’s the playoffs. It is what it is,” Irving added.
“I know what to expect in here and 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. Again, where I’m from, I’ve dealt with so much, so coming in here, you relish it as a competitor.”
You can listen to Irving’s postgame comments here.
Irving scored a game-high 39 points in Game 1, but it’s likely his off-court antics will elicit more of a reaction heading into Wednesday’s Game 2 at TD Garden.