The Brooklyn Nets and Kyrie Irving were fined $35,000 each after their repeated refusal to speak with the media in postgame interview sessions. The NBA fined both the team and Irving on Wednesday for repeatedly violating league rules regarding media access. The league said Irving did not want to participate in team postgame media availability, an event that NBA players are expected and required to be part of.
This violation is the second incident this season that Irving has been fined for not complying with the NBA’s media guidelines. In December, Irving was fined $25,000 for refusing to speak to the media during media week of the training camp. Irving issued a statement rather than personally speaking to the reporters to ensure that his message is conveyed correctly. However, it seemed that he plans to avoid the media all season.
“I don’t talk to Pawns. My attention is worth more,” Irving wrote on Instagram after the fine was issued. Several days later, he addressed the reporters while claiming that the media boycott was intended so that he could focus on basketball.
The NBA rules require that players be available upon request to reporters before or after every game when they are physically able to do so. Irving, on several occasions, has declined to be available in a news conference throughout the season. Tuesday night was the most recent incident, where Irving declined several interview requests, including from ESPN, to face the reporters after the Nets’ 124-118 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
“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. So stop distracting me and my team, and appreciate the Art. We move differently over here.” Irving wrote on his Social Media.
Also, within this season, Irving was issued another fine of $50,000 for violating the league’s health, and safety protocols after a video of him attending a crowded indoor gathering had surfaced.