There is a price to pay for flipping the bird. Especially if you do it twice, and using two middle fingers on one of the occasions.
Confused? Just know that Kyrie Irving flipped off Boston Celtics fans, and the NBA has fined him $50,000 as a result.
It all happened during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoffs between the Celtics and Irving’s Brooklyn Nets in Boston.
Irving gave fans the solo middle finger after making a shot and running down the sideline. He also gave them the double-bird while pretending to scratch the back of his head.
Kyrie's playoff return to TD Garden has already meant fireworks… 🍿 pic.twitter.com/V58xLV3C2T
— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) April 17, 2022
Interestingly, the league could have fined Irving $50,000 for each incident (or perhaps even for each finger). But maybe that’s just the way Irving scratches the back of his head — with two middle fingers. Proving otherwise may have been to tall a task for NBA deep-thinkers.
Anyway, in case you missed it, Irving said he was merely returning the “energy” given to him by Boston fans. While most people forget, Irving spent a couple of fairly pedestrian seasons with the Celtics before bolting for Brooklyn.
“You guys like my haircut??” pic.twitter.com/7KxvLkxmcc
— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) April 17, 2022
“Look, where I’m from, I’m used to all these antics and people being close nearby,” Irving said, via Hoops Wire. “It’s nothing new when I come into this building what it’s going to be like — but it’s the same energy they have for me, I’m going to have the same energy for them.
“And it’s not every fan, I don’t want to attack every fan, every Boston fan. When people start yelling ‘p—y’ or ‘b—-‘ and ‘f— you’ and all this stuff, there’s only but so much you take as a competitor. We’re the ones expected to be docile and be humble, take a humble approach. F— that, it’s the playoffs. This is what it is.”
In the end, the Nets dropped a 116-115 decision that went down to the wire. And Irving paid a bigger price than his teammates.
According to the NBA’s official announcement, Irving was fined for “making obscene gestures on the playing court and directing profane language toward the spectator stands.”
This, of course, is the kind of show that drives up ratings. The NBA was in dire need of that. So maybe the league should be giving Irving an extra $50,000 instead of making him pay. After all, this is the most talked about bird in Boston since the 1980s.
Follow Sam Amico’s NBA coverage @AmicoHoops.