The NBA has fined Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving for directing obscene language toward a fan. The league announced Irving was fined $25,000, and the incident occurred during the second quarter of the Nets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers game on Monday. A fan was heckling Irving, who responded with obscene language.
The 2021-22 season has been an interesting one for Irving. He is only allowed to play in road games because he's unvaccinated and the state of New York has a mandate. Irving was away from the team for almost three months before being allowed to play in road contests. Back in October, Irving talked about his decision to not be vaccinated on his Instagram feed.
"The financial consequences, I know I do not want to even do that," Irving said. "But it is reality that in order to be in New York City, in order to be on a team, I have to be vaccinated. I chose to be unvaccinated, and that was my choice, and I would ask you all to just respect that choice.
"I am going to just continue to stay in shape, be ready to play, be ready to rock out with my teammates and just be part of this whole thing. This is not a political thing; this is not about the NBA, not about any organization. This is about my life and what I am choosing to do."
Irving later said, "I am staying grounded in what I believe in. It is as simple as that. It is not about being anti-vax or about being on one side or the other. It is just really about being true to what feels good for me. ... If I am going to be demonized for having more questions and taking my time to make a decision with my life, that is just what it is. ... I know the consequences of the decisions that I make with my life. I am not here to sugarcoat any of that."
Irving is in his third season with the Nets. He has played five games for far this year and is averaging 22 points and 5.4 assists per contest. In his career, Irving has been selected to the All-Star team seven times and the All-NBA team three times. When he was with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, Irving won the NBA Finals with LeBron James.