Fresh from a losing effort against the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving was in no mood for gratitude on Wednesday night. When a sports reporter wished him a Happy Thanksgiving the five-time NBA All-Star gave the holiday a hard foul.
The Uncle Drew star and Pepsi Max pitchman told the scribe that he doesn’t celebrate the holiday. For emphasis he added: “F— Thanksgiving.”
On Thursday, after taking considerable heat, Irving took to Twitter and admitted his comments were out-of-bounds although he stopped short of offering an actual apology.
“I spoke with frustration after last night’s game and spoke words that shouldn’t be in a professional setting no matter what,” Irving tweeted.
In a follow-up tweet he added: “Meant no disrespect to the holiday and those who celebrate it respectfully. I’m grateful for the time we all can share with our families. We are always ONE.”
In August, Irving was officially welcomed into the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. His late mother, Elizabeth Irving, had been a member of the tribe and lived on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, which straddles the North and South Dakota border.
Irving portrayed the title character in the Lionsgate comedy Uncle Drew, which made $42 million in domestic release. Irving, now 26, wore elaborate make-up to play the part of an elderly hoops savant. Co-stars included NBA greats Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber and Reggie Miller.
The Uncle Drew character was introduced in 2012 in a series of Pepsi Max commercials. Irving, then a Cleveland Cavalier, also wrote and directed one installment of the ad series.