The NBA fined Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving $50,000 “for making obscene gestures on the playing court and directing profane language toward the spectator stands,” the league announced on Tuesday.
It happened during Boston’s 115-114 victory against Brooklyn on Sunday, and the fine was not a surprise.
Irving flipped off fans with his middle fingers just before a jump ball and had profane language for a fan after he exited the court and headed for Brooklyn’s locker room. The incidents were posted and shared on social media.
Irving was fined $25,000 earlier this season for directing obscene language at a fan during a game in Cleveland. Players typically are fined $15,000 for obscene gestures, but the combination of both gestures and language and Irving’s prior offenses led to a larger fine.
Kyrie Irving vs. Celtics fans: Both sides are at fault in vulgar back and forth during NBA playoffs
Irving is not a fan favorite in Boston. He once played for the Celtics and pledged publicly to re-sign with Boston but instead left for Brooklyn during free agency in 2019.
After the game, Irving told reporters, “When people start yelling (expletive) and (expletive) and (expletive) you and all this stuff, there’s (only) so much you can take as a competitor,” he said. “We’re the ones expected to be docile and be humble and take a humble approach. Nah, (expletive) that, it’s the playoffs. This is what it is. I know what to expect in here and it’s the same energy I’m giving back to them.”
The leagues frowns upon that kind of interaction and encourages players to alert arena and league security to instances of fans using inappropriate language.
Game 2 is Wednesday in Boston.