Sydney Kings owner slams NBL legend Steve Carfino for calling Nick Kyrgios a ‘jerk’


Sydney Kings owner slams NBL legend Steve Carfino for calling Nick Kyrgios a ‘jerk’ over his play at charity game: ‘That was a really bad take from Steve’

  • Kyrgios was the star attraction in the recent NBL celebrity match for charity
  • He have the contest his all, rattling up 16 points, two assists and two blocks
  • However he was slammed by NBL legend Steve Carfino for his lack of respect
  • Kings co-owner Paul Smith has hit back, saying Kyrgios was good for the game 

Sydney Kings co-owner Paul Smith has slammed former Kings legend Steve Carfino for giving Nick Kyrgios both barrels over his play in the recent Celebrity All-Star game.

Carfino played in the NBL for the Hobart Devils and Sydney Kings from 1986 and 1991 before becoming the face of the league during the halcyon days in the 1990s when the NBL enjoyed its biggest period of success.

In your face Dom. Kyrgios prepares to block NSW Premier Dom Perrottet in the charity match

The veteran commentator was not amused by the antics of tennis star Kyrgios who lit up Qudos Bank Arena in the recent charity match which was put together to raise money for kid’s charity the Starlight Foundation.

Carfino was coaching the opposition team and said Kyrgios was ‘a jerk’ and showed a ‘lack of sportsmanship’ for swatting away shots from NSW Premier Dom Perrottet and Miss Universe Australia 2020 Maria Thattil while often refusing to pass so he could score himself.

‘It wasn’t the right moment to show how dominant you can be against, you know, Australia’s contestant for Miss World,’ he said.

‘It was a celebrity game. Know where you’re at.’

Carfino is an NBL veteran and legend both on and off the court, but he was not happy with Kyrgios antics after coaching the opposition team in the NBL's celebrity charity match.

Carfino is an NBL veteran and legend both on and off the court, but he was not happy with Kyrgios antics after coaching the opposition team in the NBL’s celebrity charity match.

Now Smith has fired back and said having Kyrgios in the charity match was great for the initiative, which the NBL hopes can become an annual event. 

‘What is Steve thinking?’ Smith told the Sydney Morning Herald.

‘Nick was terrific. He wasn’t over the top at all. He didn’t dunk over anyone. He wasn’t out of line. None of that happened. He handled himself impeccably.

‘The purpose of the match was to raise money for the Starlight Foundation and Nick was critical to that. We want him back next year.

‘This was a really bad take from Steve. Nobody has said anything to me along those lines.’

Kyrgios showed plenty of skill during the charity match that raised money for a kid's charity

Kyrgios showed plenty of skill during the charity match that raised money for a kid’s charity

Kyrgios also fired back on Instagram and joked that Carfino could have enjoyed a longer career in the NBA if he showed ‘less sportsmanship’.

‘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?’ he said.

The Aussie tennis firebrand has long expressed his love of basketball and his preference to play in the NBA rather than the ATP Tour. NBL commentator Corey ‘Homicide’ Williams was dazzled by Kyrgios’ moves.

Meanwhile, in the NBL finals, Melbourne United has taken the first step toward back-to-back championships after holding off the Tasmania JackJumpers 74-63 at John Cain Arena on Thursday night. 

Canadian guard Caleb Agada goes to the rack over Josh Adams in their NBL semi-final

Canadian guard Caleb Agada goes to the rack over Josh Adams in their NBL semi-final

Tasmania now face a must-win match at MyState Bank Arena in Hobart on Saturday to keep their grand final series hopes alive.

The JackJumpers have been the toast of the NBL after making the NBL finals in their first year in the competition, edging past the Perth Wildcats for a spot in the top four. It ended a 35 year streak of finals appearances by the Wildcats.

In the other semi-final series, New South Wales rivals Illawarra Hawks and the Kings will face off in game one at WIN Entertainment Centre in Wollongong tonight. They will return to clash at Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday before returning to the Illawarra for game three if required.



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