Something that was said angered Kyrie Irving enough for the Nets star to confront a fan on his way back to the visiting locker room Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.
Television cameras showed Irving quickly turning back after passing two fans at a turn on his way back to the locker room at halftime of the Nets’ eventual 110-98 win over the Knicks.
“East Coast basketball at its finest, people just yelling random s–t from the crowd,” Irving told reporters after the game. “Wanted the reaction, they got one.”
The All-Star caliber guard had a few words with one of the fans, who appeared to snap a quick cell phone photo of the Nets star. Irving, who appears to be asking: ‘Who said it?” in the video, he did say it was not the person he talked to who was the culprit.
“I think I tapped the wrong person, so I apologize to the random guy that I tapped,” Irving said. “He looked at me with a big surprise on his face. I didn’t mean to tap him. Somebody said something and I was just fed up with our performance.”
Irving, who had 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in the win, became a polarizing figure this season after his decision not to conform to New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates. It left him unable to play in home games at Barclays Center and MSG until new Mayor Eric Adams last month announced an exemption to the rule for athletes and performers.