Ime Udoka had a reasonable take on Kyrie Irving drama from Game 1


Game 1 of the Boston Celtics' first-round playoff matchup with the Brooklyn Nets featured some fantastic on-court drama. But Kyrie Irving created drama off the court, as well.

The Nets star and former Celtic was seen making several obscene gestures to fans in the TD Garden crowd Sunday and was far from apologetic about his actions after the game.

"It's nothing new when I come into this building of what it's going to be like," Irving said after Boston's Game 1 victory. "It's the same energy they have for me, and I'm gonna have the same energy for them."

Bean: Deep down, Kyrie and Celtics fans are perfect for each other

Irving and Celtics fans have plenty of history, stemming from Kyrie's tumultuous 2018-19 campaign in Boston that ended with him joining Brooklyn despite telling C's fans before the season he planned to re-sign with the team.

Irving also has history with Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, who was on the Nets' coaching staff with Irving last season. Udoka reflected on the Irving saga Tuesday and had a pretty measured take on the whole situation.

"I think he's a self-motivated guy already," Udoka told reporters. "Obviously has a history here with the organization and playing with this team. Some things happened last year as well, but I wouldn't say move past it. It's still an issue that's coming up.

"But he's a very motivated, very talented individual who didn't play a lot of games this year, and I think big-picture is looking at how he can be successful in the postseason more so than against the Celtics."

Irving seemed to relish in the atmosphere Sunday, using Celtics fans' jeers as motivation to drop a game-high 39 points and nearly carry the Nets to victory with 18 fourth-quarter points.

Udoka spent a full season with Irving, so he clearly knows what makes the superstar guard tick. And he knows the Celtics will have their hands full with Irving again in Game 2 at TD Garden on Wednesday night, regardless of how Boston fans treat him.

"I didn't hear all of the postgame comments, only some of them. But we're not worried about that," Udoka added. "Obviously it's a deal he has with the team he's been with, and he had a similar thing in Cleveland last year at times.

"Our focus is guarding him and stopping him from getting 39, not worry(ing) about what's going on with him and the fans."

If the Celtics can prevent a repeat performance from Irving on Wednesday night, that will go a long way toward them taking a 2-0 lead in this series.

Note: Games 2-6 of the Brooklyn Nets-Boston Celtics series will be aired on NBC Sports Boston and can also be streamed on or with the MyTeams App, which you can download below.

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