Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets had to pay out a total of $70,000 on Wednesday due to the All-Star guard’s continued refusal to speak to the media.
The NBA has fined Irving and the Nets $35,000 each for “violating league rules governing media interview access.” The league particularly highlighted that the fine is a result of Irving’s “repeated refusal” to talk to the press–which means it’s not due to a specific instance.
Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets have each been fined $35,000 by the NBA. ??
The fines are due to Irving’s refusal to do his postgame media availabilities. pic.twitter.com/BgKYiuXA6f
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 5, 2021
For what it’s worth, it is not the first time Kyrie Irving and the Nets had been punished for the same reason. Back in December before the season started, the NBA also slapped each with a $25,000 fine after Kyrie said he would not be speaking to the media and that he would let his game on the basketball court do the talking.
Irving’s publicist immediately clarified the “media blackout” declaration back then and emphasized that the Nets star would still do traditional media throughout the season. The publicist even specifically pointed out that Irving is committed to “building a mutually respectful relationship with the media.”
Obviously, that didn’t happen and Irving is back to snubbing his talk with reporters, leading to the latest fine by the NBA.
While Irving’s stance is understandable given how he has been painted by several media outlets–covering mostly the negative aspects instead of the positive ones–there’s no denying that the issue has been a distraction for the Nets.
With James Harden injured and Brooklyn trying to develop their chemistry, the last thing they need is any form of off-court distraction. Besides, playing for the NBA, Irving is very much aware that there are certain rules to follow and tasks to do as part of the job.