Kyrie Irving had NBA Twitter in shambles last week when he released a statement vowing not to talk to the media this season. How is this possible you ask? It’s not and yesterday, Kyrie and the Brooklyn Nets were fined $25k each for violating league rules governing media access.
Kyrie Fined By The NBA
“The fines result from Irving’s refusal on several occasions this week to participate in team media availability,” said the NBA. Contractually, NBA players are required to have media availability throughout the regular season and playoffs.
The decision understandably rubbed some members of the media the wrong way. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said that the decision made Kyrie “come off like a damn snob”. ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins said he would trade Kyrie for James Harden “in a heartbeat” if he were the Brooklyn Nets on yesterday’s episode of Heavy Live With Scoop B
Kyrie’s reasoning for not participating in this week’s media availability was to show his support of the NBA’s COVID-19 safety protocols. “Instead of speaking to the media today, I am issuing a statement to ensure that my message is conveyed properly,” said Irving in a statement last Friday. In the first round of testing on December 2, 48 out of 546 players tested positive for COVID-19. In the second round of testing on December 10, eight new players tested positive for the virus bringing the total to 554 positive cases.
Players MUST Participate In Media Availability
Although Kyrie had good intentions the NBA has made it clear what the rules are pertaining to media availability. Under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, players are required to adhere to the rules and be available to talk to the media.
Kyrie Responds To The NBA
Today in an Instagram post Kyrie responded to the sanctions sent down from the league. “I pray we utilize the fine money for marginalized communities in need especially seeing where our world is presently,” said Kyrie. “Stop distracting me and my team and appreciate the art. We move differently over here.”
Irving in his previous statement said he was more interested in letting his actions on and off of the court do the talking for him. Kyrie appears to be keeping that same energy as he ended off his already fiery post with some harsh words for the league office. “I do not talk to pawns, my attention is worth more,”
Brooklyn kicks off the preseason Sunday night against the Washington Wizards.