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NBA fines Nets, Kyrie Irving for ‘repeated refusal’ to participate in post-game media

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Brooklyn Nets v Milwaukee Bucks

For the second time this season, the NBA has fined Kyrie Irving and the Nets over Irving’s refusal to speak with the media, this time $35,000 each for the star’s “repeated refusal to participate in postgame media availability,” the league said in a statement.

As Malika Andrews of ESPN writes...

The NBA requires that healthy players be made available upon request to reporters before or after every game. Throughout the season, Irving has declined on several occasions to be available in a news conference. Most recently, Irving declined requests — including those from ESPN — to speak to reporters after the Nets’ 124-118 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.

Reporters had asked for Irving several times in recent days, but he declined on more than one occasion, according to a source. Irving did meet with the media Sunday following the first Bucks game.

The Nets had no comment on the fine. Fines of less than $50,000 cannot be appealed.

Back in December, Irving and the Nets were fined $25,000 each, with the NBA stating, “The fines result from Irving’s refusal on several occasions this week to participate in team media availability.”

In the days before those first fines, 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. 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.”

After the fines were assessed, Irving went on social media and explained his position but in doing so, referred to reporters as “pawns.”

”[I am] here for Peace, Love and Greatness. 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.”

In January, after he disappeared for several games and a video of him at a family birthday party surfaced, he was fined $50,000 by the NBA for violating league health and safety protocols. He also forfeited two games’ salary. His total losses amounted to $870,000.