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#pounditSunday, May 26, 2024

Kyrie Irving explains his gesture toward Celtics fans

Kyrie Irving wearing his Nets uniform

Feb 1, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving escalated his personal rivalry with Boston Celtics fans on Sunday, and he offered no apologies for it after the game.

Irving was seen flipping off Celtics fans during Sunday’s Game 1, as the TD Garden faithful had booed him relentlessly during the game. Irving was asked about the gesture after the game, and said he wanted to give the “same energy” back to Celtics fans after being taunted all game.

When people start yelling p—y and b—h and f— you, there’s only so much you can take as a competitor,” Irving said, via Jared Weiss of The Athletic. “That’s the playoffs, it is what it is. I know what to expect in here and I’m ready to give the same energy back to them.”

Irving infamously left the Celtics for Brooklyn as a free agent after verbally pledging to re-sign with Boston. Celtics fans have never forgotten this, and let Irving have it every time he plays in front of them.

Irving had said in the runup to the series that he was hopeful Celtics fans could move on. Since that’s clearly not happening, it seems he has decided to fight fire with fire.

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