TNT’s NBA crew comprising Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson have never shied away from giving their takes on a wide range of topics. And per usual, two of the best players to ever play in the NBA had some choice words for Nets star Kyrie Irving following his comments after his team’s 115–114 loss to the Celtics in Game 1 of the playoffs.
Irving could be seen flipping the bird several times to Boston fans and during halftime he was caught on video telling a fan to “suck my d---, b----.” After the game, he said he matched the crowd’s energy and had no regrets about his decision, adding, “I’mma look at them straight in the eyes and see if they’re really ‘bout it. Most of the time they’re not.”
O’Neal and Barkley disapproved of Irving’s behavior and his comments. They both said they had gone through similar situations and fans just have to be ignored. O’Neal also stressed their predecessors had gone through far worse.
“If the great Bill Russell went through it, I wanted to go through it also. I don’t really want to hear all that,” O’Neal said on Irving’s comments. “Certain cities, they don’t care what you said at the press conference. You know what’s gonna happen in Game 2? They’re gonna be talking more smack up there in Boston.”
Barkley, as usual, was disgruntled with players in today’s game complaining. O’Neal could be heard in the background egging him on saying, “Man up.”
“Most of the fans are amazing,” Barkley said. “Some of them are gonna say some rude stuff—please stop it, you athletes today whining.”
The former Celtics point guard could get a hefty fine coming his way. It’s not the first time this season he’s gotten into it with fans of a former team, though. Irving was fined $25,000 in January after he was recorded telling a Cavaliers fan, “Got y’all a championship, motherf-----s still ungrateful.”
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