Nick Kyrgios fires back in ugly furore with Miss Universe Australia

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Nick Kyrgios, pictured here in a charity basketball game against Maria Thattil.
Nick Kyrgios has come under fire for his actions in a charity basketball game against Maria Thattil. Image: Getty

Nick Kyrgios has fired back at NBL great Steve Carfino after he was criticised for his 'unsportsmanlike' display in a charity basketball game.

Carfino said Kyrgios acted like a "jerk" and showed a "lack of sportsmanship" after he blocked shots from NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Miss Universe Australia Maria Thattil in the NBL’s Celebrity All-Star game on Saturday.

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Carfino, who was coaching one of the teams, blasted Kyrgios for taking the charity game too seriously.

“What a jerk. Oh my goodness,” he said on 'The Back Page' on Fox Sports.

“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.”

When asked to confirm if he was being serious, Carfino said: “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’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.

Nick Kyrgios, pictured here blocking a shot by Dominic Perrottet during the Sydney Kings Starlight Celebrity Game.
Nick Kyrgios blocked a shot by Dominic Perrottet during the Sydney Kings Starlight Celebrity Game. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

“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.”

But Kyrgios is having none of the criticism, firing back at Carfino on social media.

“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 wrote on Instagram.

“Maybe if you showed less sportsmanship your NBA career would of (sic) lasted longer.”

Steve Carfino, pictured here before an NBL game in 2017.
Steve Carfino (R) speaks before an NBL game in 2017. (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)

Steve Carfino fumes over Nick Kyrgios antics

Carfino said Kyrgios' coach Shane Heal may have riled him up.

“I guess white line fever," Carfino said when asked to explain Kyrgios' actions.

"And his coach was Shane Heal, he suffers from it as well.

“Shane actually said to Nick, he was like 'come over here - Carfino doesn’t think you can get 20' (points).

"And he looked at me like he was ready to kill me.”

Carfino was selected in the sixth round of the 1984 draft by the Boston Celtics.

He then played for the Hobart Devils and Sydney Kings during a decorated career in Australia.

The American is now a respected commentator and coach.

As for Kyrgios, the Aussie tennis star is enjoying some time away from the ATP Tour.

The 27-year-old isn't playing the current clay-court season and has chosen not to play the French Open next month.

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