Brooklyn Nets point guard, Kyrie Irving has been trending a lot over the last seven days.
It began last week when Irving released a statement instead of participating in Nets media day.
“COVID-19 has impacted us all in many ways,” Irving wrote in a statement released by his publicist, Ashley Blackwood.
“So I pray for the safety and health of our communities domestically and abroad. I am truly excited for the season to start and I am also praying that everyone remains safe and healthy throughout this journey,” the statement read in part. “Instead of speaking to the media today, I am issuing this statement to ensure that my message is conveyed properly.”
Irving and the Nets were fined $25,000 each for Irving not formally speaking.
Irving responded by quoting Malcolm X via Instagram story and by relaying where his fine should go.
“I pray we utilize the “fine money” for the marginalized communities in need, especially seeing where our world is presently.”
Continued Irving: “I do not talk to pawns. My attention is worth more.”
Most believe that Irving’s pawn reference was a dig at media.
“Calling anyone a pawn is a sure sign of disrespect,” Irving’s former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate, Kevin Love said.
“You literally have to have the media,” Ryan Hollins, a current NBA analyst and former Cavs teammate of Irving’s said today via Instagram Live.
“You want as much media there as possible.
“You gotta be plain Jane, vanilla.
“Steve Nash quotes were not blown out of proportion.”
So was Irving talking about media? I’m hearing that he wasn’t.
A source close to the situation shared with me Friday evening that the word ‘pawn’ was directed toward anybody who Irving believes is only going to use his words to ‘broadcast untrue or hateful shit.’
Irving hasn’t always had a good relationship with media dating back to his playing days with the Cavs.
Another source close to the situation indicated to me that Irving’s pawn comment was more along the lines of not engaging with people who twist his words and have an agenda against him.
Meanwhile, while Irving hasn’t spoken publicly to media, he has made social media appearances expressing his desire to win an NBA Championship with the Nets.
“We’ve got a championship to win,” Irving said via Instagram Live on Friday evening.
“We’ve got a championship to win.
“The focus is there. Stop playing with me.”
Irving has also recently showed interest in recording music.
Last Sunday, the Nets point guard played a clip of a rap song that he recorded that had tribute to late Lakers legend, Kobe Bryant and his daughter Ginna Bryant who both died in a helicopter crash with other back in January.
“We’re rocking with the ancestors, I’m doing what I’m supposed to do,” rapped Irving.
“I’m painting life’s canvas, I’m moving like an artist. Similar to my to my progress, I’m on a team full of martyrs. Paradise is Mamba, throwing peace to Gianna.”
On Friday, Irving showed a snippet from another track.
The unnamed track features long time friend and high school basketball teammate, Jeremiah Green who doubles as a singer, songwriter and producer.
Million Dollar Question: Is Kyrie Irving dropping an album?
“We’ll see,” a source tells me.
Kyrie Irving recorded music during the NBA’s COVID-19 layoff, I’m hearing.
But the NBA season is just around the corner. The Nets open up their preseason schedule on Sunday against the Washington Wizards.
20 games last season, Kyrie Irving averaged 27.4 points, 6.4 assists and 5.2 rebounds per game. Irving had season-ending surgery on a nagging shoulder impingement.
While the Lakers are expected to repeat as NBA Champions this season, according to Bovada, the Nets are favored second.