In basketball, there are official rules and there are unwritten rules, and on Monday night, Denver Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray violated the latter in an attempt to drop a 50-piece on the Boston Celtics.
At the final buzzer, with the game put away with a eight-point lead, Murray shot from beyond the arc in an attempt to turn his career-high 48 points into a 51-point game. While the feat served as an impressive accomplishment for the point-guard, his opponent, Kyrie Irving, did not take too kindly to the attempt.
Visibly irritated, Irving took the game ball and tossed into Pepsi Center stands. Afterwards, when asked about the incident, Irving revealed the reason behind his frustration.
“What kind of competitor wouldn’t it bother?” He asked. “I don’t want to make a big deal out of it. Obviously, I was pissed off after the game but it’s time to decompress and move on. Congratulations to him having 48 points. But the ball deserves to go in the crowd after a bullshit move like that. So I threw it in the crowd.”
Almost 24 hours later, after Irving was hit with a $25,000 fine for chucking the ball into the stands, the baller revisited the incident and explained why it had him so upset.
“From a competition and competitive standpoint, I think it absolutely deserved to go in the stands still,” Irving said. “You just don’t play basketball like that.”
“It’s as simple as that. You just don’t. There’s a tradition and a respect within the league, as well as in any basketball game. Obviously you’ve won the game, you have it sealed, you’ve had a great game, game of your life, and you do something like that, it’s just….it’s petty. It’s immature. We’ll see him again though.”
“I mean, when everyone knows the intent of it, I think it just makes it clear of what’s going on,” Irving continued on Tuesday. “Obviously, I’m watching, and I’m watching the play at the end of the game, and I’m just watching to see if he’s really gonna shoot the ball. That’s just so thirsty of a player to just go after something like that. Clearly, 50 points is a big deal, but get it within regulation. Take it as a man get your free throws and get to 50 points. But you don’t wait til the end of the game, when everybody’s not playing, to just launch up a shot and then nonchalantly go like this (shrug your shoulders) as if it doesn’t matter.”
“It’s a tradition in the league, but it’s just immature.” But at the end of the day, Murray said he meant no disrespect.