Kyrie Irving has shown time and time again he isn’t afraid to mix it up with the fans if they push him a little too far. That was the case on Wednesday night as he was walking off the court at halftime at Madison Square Garden.
The Nets’ superstar point guard was walking into the tunnel after the second quarter when a fan said something to Irving, which prompted him to stop and engage with the person, though it may not have been the fan that made the original comment. Irving likely wasn’t in the best of moods as the Nets had been trailing 67-50 at the end of the half.
Kyrie Irving wasn’t happy with whatever this fan said to him
— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) April 7, 2022
“East Coast basketball at its finest,” Irving said about the incident. “People just yelling s–t from the crowd. Want a reaction and they got one. I think I tapped the wrong person, so I apologize to the random guy that I tapped. He looked at me with a (surprised) look on his face, so I didn’t mean to tap him. But somebody said something and I was just fed up with our performance and I dealt with this sort of East Coast type of attitude in games since I was 7, 8-years-old.
“So I been in the trenches as they would say playing in different boroughs. Being a Jersey kid and not getting respect from New York basketball.”
The Nets would go on to win the game 110-98 over the Knicks after Kevin Durant led a fourth-quarter comeback. Irving finished the game with 24 points by the time the final horn sounded.
And he wasn’t done toying with Knicks fans after the interaction at halftime. Following a three from Patty Mills to put the Nets up 107- 97 late in the game, Irving waved to the crowd before going back on defense.
“Man I just needed to let loose some of that energy,” Irving said about it. “Because we were in a deep hole throughout most of the game and I just kept telling our guys this is our game, this our game and when you believe in that mantra good things can either go your way or just you can live with putting your imprint on the game. We knew we could play better and waving to the crowd was just like ‘hey we’ll see you guys next year.'”