It's no secret that there's no love lost between the Boston Celtics and Kyrie Irving. The Brooklyn Nets guard played for the Celtics for two seasons, during which he was reportedly a major part of some chemistry problems in the locker room that led to what fans considered disappointing finishes.
During Sunday's Game 1 between No. 7 Nets and No. 2 Celtics, Irving was serenaded by boos from TD Garden fans and a "Kyrie sucks" chant. So when Irving knocked down a tough, corner 3-pointer in the closing minutes of the third quarter, Irving decided to send the crowd a message ... and he used his middle finger to do it.
The broadcast was quick to point out Irving's "salute" to the Boston crowd and mentioned that he'll likely receive a fine for his actions. This isn't the first time Irving has taken a shot at the Celtics. Before his first game back in TD Garden after joining the Nets back in 2020, Irving burned sage around the court in an effort to "cleanse the energy." Later that season, Irving appeared to stomp and wipe his foot on the Celtics logo at midcourt after a 141-126 Nets win in Game 4 of their playoff series.
He was asked about the incident during the postgame press conference, and Irving answered by saying he just wanted to reciprocate the same energy the fans were giving him.
"It's not every fan," Irving said. "I don't want to attack every Boston fan, but when people start yelling p---y, b---h and f--k you and all that, there is only so much you can take as a competitor.
"All is fair in competition," he continued. "If somebody is going to call me out on my name, I'm going to look them straight in the eye and see if they are really about it. Most of the time they are not."
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With at least three more games left in this postseason's series between the Nets and Celtics, it's safe to say that the interactions between Irving and the Boston fans will continue to be contentious.