Sydney Kings owner Paul Smith has defended Nick Kyrgios from the criticism he received after the Starlight Celebrity Game, saying the Australian tennis star has been absolutely brilliant.
A charity basketball game was held in Sydney last weekend and Kyrgios, who is known for his humanitarian work and always willing to support charity, took part in the game.
After the game, NBL great Steve Carfino called Kyrgios an “asshole” and accused him of disrespecting him. “What is Steve thinking?” Smith told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“Nick was great. He wasn’t excessive at all. He didn’t drag anyone down. He didn’t go overboard. None of that happened. He carried himself impeccably.”
The purpose of the match was to raise funds for the Starlight Foundation and Nick played a vital role in that regard. We want him to come back next year. It was a very bad position on Steve’s part.”
Carfino’s comments on Kyrgios
Carfino was apparently unhappy after Kyrgios tried to block Miss Universe Australia 2020 Maria Thattil.
“What an idiot. My God,” Carfino said on Fox Sports’ The Back Page. “And what a lack of sportsmanship. He blocks shots from girls, he doesn’t pass passes to his teammates.
It’s a celebrity game. There are funds to raise for the Starlight Foundation. It was ridiculous.” Meanwhile, Kyrgios is at home as he skips this season on clay.
Kyrgios hinted earlier this year that he would not participate in the ocher season. While Kyrgios was in the United States for Indian Wells and Miami, organizers in Houston offered him a wild card.
Kyrgios accepted his offer and showed up on the clay courts in Houston. Kyrgios had a solid run in Houston as he reached the semifinals before losing. In Houston, Kyrgios confirmed that it was his first and last tournament of the season on clay.
Kyrgios will return to competition in just over a month when the grass-court season kicks off in Stuttgart. The Canberra native loves the grass and this is the part of the season where he will be looking to put on a good show.