Brooklyn Nets: Kyrie Irving has wild response to NBA after getting fined

Nets point guard Kyrie Irving (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Nets point guard Kyrie Irving (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Nets PG Kyrie Irving responded to the NBA fining him.

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving drew the ire of fans and pundits last week when he brazenly refused to make himself available to the media. The NBA has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to players denying media access, and it made that abundantly clear by issuing a $25,000 fine to both Irving and the Nets.

The verbiage of Irving’s statement made it seem like he wouldn’t speak to the media for the entire season, but that rumor was debunked seemingly as soon as it surfaced…though it still remains unclear when he will step in front of the microphone for the first time.

Either way, the fan base can’t be too thrilled that Brooklyn has to perform some damage control with the start of the 2020-21 season fast approaching. After all, this development (you have to think) will only amplify the magnitude of expectations that have been placed on the Nets this year.

Irving (and the Nets) being in the wrong in this scenario stems from the league requiring all players to make themselves available to reporters before or after games and practices. While the typical number of players has been abbreviated in light of the ongoing pandemic, most teams have still made several accessible.

For those wondering, Irving has denied multiple requests to speak with the media since preseason camp started on Dec. 1. The six-time All-Star has gone to great lengths to defend himself in the past amid controversy and he unsurprisingly did the same here, taking to Instagram to pen a response to the $25,000 fine.

In the statement, Irving cited a quote from human rights activist Malcolm X and admirably called for the money to be donated to “marginalized communities.” However, he probably lost some credibility with his closing remarks, in which he referred to the media as “pawns.”

Despite appearing in 20 games for Brooklyn in 2019-20 and being around the team for the majority of the season while battling through a nagging shoulder injury, these comments really make it seem like Irving isn’t aware of how unforgiving the New York media can be at times.

Calling reporters pawns was an extremely bold move on his part and he’d be lucky if it didn’t cost him another dent in his wallet.

Is it possible that this isn’t as big of a deal as some are making it out to be? Perhaps, but it doesn’t feel great that Irving is already making enemies with both the NBA and local media right before arguably the most anticipated season in Nets franchise history.