Should Kyrie Irving have engaged with Celtics fans?


Kyrie Irving is done by taking the abuse of Boston Celtics fans, and he held nothing back during or after from Brooklyn Game 1 playoff loss in Boston on Sunday.

Fans of Irving and the Celtics – who have a long history of disdain for each other since the former left the latter – went back and forth throughout the riveting showdown, which was won on a last-second layup from Jayson Tatum as time expired.

There is certainly no love lost between the two parties, and although they once enjoyed a friendly partnership during Irving’s two years in green, the Boston faithful quickly cooled after the departure from Irving for Brooklyn in 2019. Which soured the relationship: Irving had assured Cs fans that he would sign a long-term contract extension.

And Boston fans haven’t forgotten the broken promise.

They gave Irving ears during Sunday’s contest, and although he generally seemed unmoved by the insults of the crowd, he was fully engaged with the audience all afternoon, responding with mocking gestures, faces crying sarcastic and even a double bird to some particular customers up front. row.

“When people start screaming [expletives] it’s so much you can put up with as a competitor,” Irving commented of the spats.

“It’s us who expect to be docile and humble – no, shit. It’s not all the fans, I don’t want to attack all the Boston fans. Where I’m from, I’m used to all these antics. It’s the same energy they have for me, I’ll get it for them. I know what to expect here, it’s not really my first time at TD Garden. I’m not really focused on that. fun. You enjoy it as a competitor. It’s all fair competition. If anyone wants to call me by my name, I’ll look them straight in the eye and see if they’re up to that. subject. Most of the time they are not.”

Irving did everything he could to support his dissent on the court, scoring 39 points to complete six assists, five rebounds and four steals in what was a splendid display of scoring efficiency.

But his efforts were in vain and his Nets now look to Game 2 with a tough 0-1 hole to overcome.

And according to Shannon Sharpe, Irving’s friction with his opponent will make his own team’s efforts even more difficult.

“I have a problem with that,” Sharpe said Monday on “Undisputed.”

“I understand Kyrie’s frustration. He’s absolutely right: the fans can be relentless. But I can only imagine what it’s going to be like on Wednesday. If they saw the reaction they got after the game Sunday, can you imagine? Now they’re ‘I’m about to turn up the heat. They’re saying things they’d never tell you if they saw you on the street.

Skip Bayless shared a different perspective.

“I don’t have a problem with that,” Bayless said.

“Of all the athletes I have watched up close, no athlete marches to the beat of his own drum like Kyrie does. He wants to break all the molds in and out of basketball. This is Kyrie flipping the script on the fans and saying ‘I’m going to have the same energy. I’m going to turn you as hard as you come against me.” These players are sick of the verbal abuse they’re forced to live with. Now it looks like the fans are feeling more empowered than ever.

It’s the first time I can remember where the fans had a negative impact on the game. He had 18 points in the fourth quarter. The more they heckled, the more they fired. It turned out that Kyrie was actually feeding on their vitriol, and it was a beautiful thing to watch. The more shots he fires, the quieter they will be.”

Kyrie Irving applauds Celtics fans

Kyrie Irving applauds Celtics fans

Upon his return to Boston, Kyrie Irving played like a man on a mission in the Brooklyn Nets’ Game 1 loss to the Celtics. Skip Bayless reacts when Kyrie applauds the fans.

Nick Wright implored Irving to embrace his new role as an NBA villain.

“I don’t care if Kyrie turns people off,” he claimed on “First Things First.”

“What matters to me is ‘where did this all come from? What have I already done? Why can’t we just move on?’ Dude! Here’s the timeline: Signed with the Celtics. First year there, it didn’t go too well, he skipped Game 7, didn’t sit with his team on the bench. It was weird. Then that summer, “I’ll be here for life if you get me, immediately begins planning to play with Kevin Durant. He’s asked about it and he’s like ‘two friends can’t just chat? What’s wrong with you guys? By the way, the young players on this team stink and they are selfish. They must follow me.'”

If Game 1 wasn’t already must-watch TV, Game 2 will be nothing less than that. And Irving has just become the undisputed main character of the series.

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