Kyrie Irving flares up at WRONG fan after getting heckled during Knicks-Nets Game
"Somebody said something and I was just fed up with our performance," Irving said
Nets star Kyrie Irving entered into a verbal spat with a fan at the end of the first half of the game on Wednesday, April 6 against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Television cameras caught Irving walking to the locker room during halftime when a fan holding a cell phone said something to him. The star went back, tapped the fan next to the actual heckler by mistake, and exchanged some words.
The conversation between the Garden fan and Irving is unclear. Irving clarified after the game that he wanted to say something to someone who yelled some inappropriate words but ended up tapping the wrong guy, and apologized. He further went on to talk about the type of East Coast attitudes and how he has dealt with them since a very young age.
Kyrie Irving exchanged words with a Knicks fan at the end of the first half. pic.twitter.com/kD53W2fw5V— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 7, 2022
"East Coast basketball at its finest. People just yelling random s–t from the crowd. Wanted a reaction, they got one," Irving said after the Nets’ 110-98 comeback win over the Knicks. "I think I tapped the wrong person, so I apologize to the random guy that I tapped. He looked at me with a surprising look on his face. Somebody said something and I was just fed up with our performance."
"And I’ve dealt with just the East Coast type of attitude since I was 7, 8 years old. So I’ve been in the trenches, as they would say, growing up, playing in different boroughs, being a Jersey kid not getting respect from New York basketball until I just stopped giving an eff about what their opinion was."
As Irving was having words with the fan, Nets forward Kessler Edwards also stopped on his way to the locker room to listen in on the conversation.
After the argument, Irving pulled up in the second half. Brooklyn trailed New York 67–50 at halftime but used a huge second-half push to eventually win by 12. The Nets outscored the Knicks 38–16 in the fourth quarter to pick up their second victory in as many nights, winning by a final score of 110–98. In 43 minutes, Irving scored 24 points with eight rebounds and seven assists on 9-for-26 shooting from the field.
Meanwhile, Irving wore a shirt honoring his basketball hero, the late Kobe Bryant, during the game. He said, "It definitely kind of brings that nostalgic feeling of what happened. But I think that’s the beauty of life. We get the chance to redeem ourselves and play through that and feel a little uncomfortable, and his spirit was definitely in the building."