The NBA on Thursday announced it has fined Kyrie Irving and the Nets for violating league media access rules on “several occasions” this week.
Shams Charania broke the news...
Irving and the Nets organization each received the $25K fine. NBA says: "The fines result from Irving's refusal on several occasions this week to participate in team media availability." https://t.co/lbsjFlHiFx— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 11, 2020
“The fines result from Irving’s refusal on several occasions this week to participate in the team media availability,” the NBA said in a statement. The league announcement did not detail how many occasions or under what circumstances Irving refused to comply. The Nets have had near-daily Zoom calls with media since Friday with Steve Nash and Nets players.
Bobby Marks tweeted that the fine cannot (yet) be appealed...
Max fine is $50K before a player can file a grievance. The amount is .0007% of the Irving salary for 2020/21 or otherwise known as toll money at Exit 16W on the NJ Turnpike. https://t.co/RUPiVqI8a2— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) December 11, 2020
The news in the announcement is that Irving had failed to participate on “several occasions.” On Friday, Irving issued a statement saying he wouldn’t meet with the media and suggested his statement would have to suffice. The statement read in part...
“Instead of speaking to the media today, I am issuing this statement to ensure that my message is properly conveyed,” the statement said, in part. “I am committed to show up to work every day, ready to have fun, compete, perform, and win championships alongside my teammates and colleagues in the Nets organization.
“... My goal this season is to let my work on and off the court speak for itself. Life hit differently this year and it requires us, it requires me, to move differently. So, this is the beginning of that change.”
The statement was somewhat ambiguous about whether his boycott was blanket, but his spokesperson seemed to indicate the decision was part of a “non-traditional” media strategy, telling Greg Logan of Newsday Friday night...
“This doesn’t mean he won’t do traditional media. He has every intent on building a mutually respectful relationship with the media. This is his first attempt to communicate directly/effectively with the people who cover him the most.”
The NBA requires that active players be made available to reporters as part of practices and games. On Friday, Irving posted an IG Story in response to the fines, quoting Malcolm X and offering a suggestion for how his fines should be used. The post was unapologetic. “I do not talk to Pawns. My attention is worth more.”
Irving’s relationship with the media has always been strained, going back to his days in Cleveland, when he said the world was flat, which he later said was a joke and apologized for. In Boston, there was similar head butting on a number of issues as the Celtics disappointed after trading for him. When he opted out of his contract at the end of the 2018-19 season, media noted how in October 2018 he had promised to stay.
Then, in just the past few months, there have been other instances of tension. He suggested writers unfairly seized on comments he made about Kevin Durant being the first teammate he can see as “the best option.” That was seen by pundits as a slap at LeBron James. Irving went on Instagram not long after and called the reading of his comments a “false narrative” created for a “clickbait society.”
In his last Tweet, from October 1, Irving criticized the media regarding the issue, saying he wasn’t going to “let it put me against anyone anymore at any point.”
- Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets each fined $25,000 over guard’s refusal to talk - Malika Andrews - ESPN
- Kyrie Irving, Nets fined $25,000 each for media violation - Mollie Walker - New York Post
- Kyrie Irving’s media saga shows just how clueless he is - Phil Mushnick - New York Post
- Kyrie Irving, Nets fined $25G each over his refusal to speak with media - Greg Logan - Newsday
- NBA fines Kyrie Irving, Nets for skipping media availability - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News
- Kyrie Irving and Nets fined $25,000 each for guard failing to meet with media - Alex Smith - SNY
- Irving, Nets each fined $25,000 for point guard’s silence - Brian Mahoney - AP
- NBA fines Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets for his media week no-show - Kurt Helin - NBC Sports