This One is for the Birds
Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving during the first half of the opening basketball game of the NBA play-in tournament against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Tuesday, April 12, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

It was the game of the weekend, Boston beating Brooklyn 115-114 in game 1 of their best of seven series. Jayson Tatum hits a buzzer beating layup to win it,  2 of his 31 points. Kyrie Irving was spectacular leading the way for the Nets with 39 points. Plenty of excitement to talk about today, but all of the talk is for something that happened on the sidelines.

Irving apparently got fed up with the trash talk and perceived insults he was hearing from the fans. So Kyrie decided to give the fans the bird, in fact he gave them 2 birds. That sent the Boston faithful into a loud cheer and will  most likely fuel more of the same in Wednesday’s game 2.
Kyrie said after the game he would have “the same energy for them” that they had for him.
Irving was roasted by former NBA greats Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal. Barkley said athletes of today need to quit whining and Shaq told Kyrie he needs to “man up.”
I am all for fans talking trash to players, as long as it doesn’t involve racial slurs. They have every right to wish the “bad guys” ill will. And I have no problem with Kyrie giving the fans a message back.  I don’t like it when athletes confront fans or whine about something a fan said, like Russell Westbrook whining about being called Westbrick.  But a half a peace sign, done quietly from the sideline, does nothing more than fan the flames of a good old fashioned rivalry.
What do you think?
Joe Reinagel