Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving is having one of the best seasons of his career in his first full season with the team. On the year Irving is averaging 27.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game.
Despite having such a stellar 2020-21 season, Irving’s stellar play has often been overshadowed by his decisions off the court. On Tuesday, Kyrie made yet another poor choice and has found himself in hot water as a result.
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NBA Issues Hefty Fine to Kyrie
Both Kyrie and the Nets are each being fined $35,000 apiece for his decision to not talk to the media on Tuesday per Shams Charania of The Athletic.
“Nets guard Kyrie Irving and the Nets organization have each been fined $35,000 for violating league rules governing media interview access,” Shams tweeted on Wednesday. “The fines result from Irving’s repeated refusal to participate in team postgame media availability.”
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Kyrie Skipping Media Availability Is Becoming a Theme
Irving does have a long track record of his refusal to address the media this season.
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, during the NBA’s All-Star Weekend Irving decided to not attend a scheduled Zoom call with reporters ahead of the All-Star game. Irving did however talk to the media after the game.
Wednesday was the second time that both Kyrie and the Nets have been fined for the All-Star point guard’s refusal to address the media. At the beginning of the season, Irving and the Nets were each fined $25,000 for his refusal to participate in NBA Media Day. Irving did not mince his words at all about the league’s decision to fine him.
“I pray we utilize the “fine money” for the marginalized communities in need, especially seeing where our world is presently. I am here for peace, love, and greatness,” Irving said on his Instagram account via USA Today. “So, stop distracting me and my team, and appreciate the art. We move different over here. I do not talk to pawns. My attention is worth more.”
Analyst Suggested Kyrie Irving Retire At Beginning of Season
While Kyrie does have a right to his personal choices, NBA players are contractually obligated to address the media during the season. Earlier this year Stephen A. Smith suggested that Kyrie should just retire if he had such a problem with upholding the requirements of his contract.
“He’s not worth (the drama) at all. Matter of fact, let me say this straight up and down: I think Kyrie Irving should retire,” Smith said on ESPN’s First Take.
“Kyrie Irving has not prioritized basketball, but I’m not saying he doesn’t want to play all together. I am saying he hasn’t prioritized it, and how fair was that to Brooklyn Nets? How fair is that to Sean Marks? How fair is that to Steve Nash — a coach that he endorsed bringing on board, a coach that he wanted, a coach that he fully supported? How fair is that to his brother, Kevin Durant?”
The last thing that the Brooklyn Nets need at this point is negative attention as the team is currently riding a three-game losing streak. As the playoffs approach this team needs desperately to get back on track if they hope to make a run at the title this year.