Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving has responded after being fined $25,000 by the NBA for throwing a ball into the stands after his side's loss to the Denver Nuggets on Monday night.
Irving's actions stemmed from him taking offence when Jamal Murray attempted a late shot after the result was decided at 115-107. Murray was on a career-high 48 points but tried getting to 50 at the death, prompting the Boston star to toss the ball into the crowd.
The league announced a fine for the player on Monday evening, which Irving admits he deserves. However, he's not sorry for throwing the ball away and has explained his reasons for being upset.
"There's a sense of professionalism that you have to uphold within this league and I failed to do so so I take responsibility for it obviously," he told NBC Sports. In the competition and competitive standpoint, I think it absolutely deserved to go in the stands still.
"You just don't play basketball like that. Obviously, you've won the game, you have it sealed; that's just so thirsty of a player to just go after something like that.
Kyrie Irving on his fine: “Well deserved.”— Jay King (@ByJayKing) November 6, 2018
Took full responsibility for his actions, but also noted of Jamal Murray, “You just don’t play basketball like that. ... it’s just petty, it’s immature. But we’ll see him again though.”
"We'll see him again, though.
"You just don't do that in the NBA or in any game just out of respect for your opponent. I felt disrespected after the game, so your career-high ball goes into the stands."
Murray, though, insists he meant no disrespect by going for the final shot and was simply trying to reach the 50-point milestone.
“I think my emotions took over, as it normally does," he said after the game. "No disrespect to the Boston organization and fans with that shot - I just had in my mind that I was going to go 50, and I think everybody kind of understood that was what I was trying to do.
I really wasn't meaning no disrespect. I know half the team over there, so no hard feelings.”