A classless Nick Kyrgios has been slammed for dominating a beauty queen and the NSW Premier during a charity basketball game.
Nick Kyrgios has fired back after being hammered for his conduct during a charity basketball game on the weekend, where he dominated the star-studded celebrity clash.
The Aussie tennis star has said over the years he would have loved to be a professional basketballer and spends as much time shooting hoops as practising his forehand.
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So when he got the chance to show off his handles, the Canberran didn’t hold back — even if it was a complete mismatch with his opponents.
NBL legend Steve Carfino, who played for the Hobart Devils and Sydney Kings during a decorated career Down Under, slammed Kyrgios for showing no mercy as he rejected shots from NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Miss Universe Australia 2020 Maria Thattil, and dominated on the offensive end by racking up buckets.
Carfino, who was coaching the team captained by Mr Perrottet, said Kyrgios was overcome by “white line fever” and took things too far in a match that raised money for the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
“What a jerk. Oh my goodness,” Carfino told Fox Sports’ The Back Page on Tuesday night.
“And what a lack of sportsmanship. He’s blocking girls’ shots, he’s not passing to his teammates.
“This is a celebrity game. There’s funds to be raised for the Starlight Foundation. It was ridiculous.”
Asked by journalist Robert Craddock to confirm he was serious in his criticism, Carfino doubled down.
“I just thought it was unsportsmanlike, you know? It wasn’t the right moment to show how dominant you can be against, you know, Australia’s contestant for Miss World,” he said.
“He’s trying to block her shot. He’s going hard, blocking the shot of the Premier, you know, didn’t come out, refused to come out of the game (as a substitute).
“We had 18 players and we got everybody in. I think it was, you know, for the betterment of the game. You know, that was the right thing to do.
“It was a celebrity game. Know where you’re at.”
Kyrgios took exception to the criticism, commenting on an Instagram post about Carfino’s comments.
“Lack of respect? You potato, have a look at my foundation and look me in my eyes and tell me what lack of respect there is for that?” Kyrgios wrote.
“Maybe if you showed less sportsmanship your NBA career would of (sic) lasted longer (laughing emoji).”
Kyrgios played on a team captained by radio broadcaster Ben Fordham and his teammates included the likes of former NRL star Jamie Soward and actor Dan Ewing. On the other side, Mr Perrottet captained celebrities including Nova radio host Michael “Wippa” Wipli, Thattil and Studio 10 host Tristan McManus.
Boomers legend Shane Heal coached Kyrgios and Co.
“The premier has spoken – Kyrgios will be on his team next time,” Fordham said post-game.
“We came away with the victory but Starlight was the biggest winner.
“Dom Perrottet was a good sport and put his reputation on the line. Nick Kyrgios was off his game a bit so I expect more from him next year.”
Kyrgios’ highlights reel during his side’s 37-13 victory attracted plenty of attention, including from ex-American basketball star turned commentator Corey Williams.
“OMG @NickKyrgios put a series of moves on the NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet in the Celebrity ASG and hit the bucket. He blocked his shot twice,” Williams posted on Twitter.
“16 points 2 dimes 2 blocks in 20 minutes. Even in a celebrity game he’s going hard. My man Nick ain’t no joke. #MustSeeTV.”