Kyrie Irving’s relationship with the NBA media has been …. Interesting to say the least. So it came as no surprise when Kyrie announced that he would be participating in a “media blackout” this upcoming NBA season.
Many athletes in the past have noted their disdain for speaking to the media for a variety of reasons, but the love-hate relationship with Kyrie and the NBA media has at times reached unchartered territory. From his flat earth comments to a reporter even asking him if he viewed LeBron James as a father figure, Kyrie has been known to make headlines off the court that cause as many oohs and ahhs as his ankle-breaking crossovers.
Kyrie Wants To Lead By Example
Instead of going through his traditional NBA Media Day routine and speaking with reporters, Irving released a statement on Friday. This was an effort 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. The NBA had a surprisingly successful bubble having zero positive COVID tests in three months of action. On the other hand, in the first round of testing in the current NBA restart 48 out of 546 players tested positive for the virus.
Kyrie had somewhat of a mixed bag of responses to his proposed media blackout as some supported his message while others were completely against his proposed actions. Ashley Blackwood, the Chief Communications Officer of Irving and KAI Enterprise, explained in depth what Irving meant in his issued statement via Yahoo Sports. “This doesn’t mean he won’t do traditional media,” explained Blackwood. “He has every intent on building a mutually respectful relationship with the media”.
Under the current collective bargaining agreement players are contractually obligated to have media availability throughout the season. “This is his first attempt to communicate directly/effectively with the people who cover him the most,” said Blackwood.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
“My goal this season is to let my work on and off the court speak for itself,” Irving continued in his issued statement. He and the Brooklyn Nets will have lofty expectations as this is the first full season where both he and Kevin Durant will be healthy at the start. To make the pressure even more immense, the Eastern Conference is absolutely loaded with teams like the Heat, Bucks, Celtics and Raptors all looking to contend for an NBA Finals berth.
Winning Championships Is The Ultimate Goal
“I am committed to showing up to work every day, ready to have fun, compete, perform and win championships alongside my teammates and colleagues in the Nets organization”. Both KD and Kyrie have tasted the sweet championship champagne in the past. Both coming off of major surgeries, It will be interesting to see if they can come together and deliver a ring to the county of kings.