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#pounditSunday, April 18, 2021

Kyrie Irving on blowing off media: ‘I do not talk to pawns’

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Thursday for repeatedly refusing to fulfill his media obligations, and the Brooklyn Nets star has issued a statement explaining his decision.

Kind of.

Irving posted a statement on Instagram Friday that began with a Malcolm X quote about “peace, love and greatness.” He referred to the media as “pawns” and said he hopes the amount he was fined is used toward helping communities in need.

While hardly surprising, Irving’s statement is vague and unfair. He hinted last week that he is planning to ignore the media for the entire season and let his play speak for itself.

Irving has yet to provide specific reasons for why he is so upset with the media. We know his boycott isn’t about avoiding the spotlight, because he’s smart enough to know that he’s creating headlines by refusing to meet with reporters and then criticizing them publicly. He certainly can’t blame the media for his recent LeBron James headline, so we’re not sure what set him off.

One of the biggest reasons people are skeptical that the Nets will have success is that Irving and Kevin Durant have difficult personalities to handle. Irving isn’t really challenging that narrative by berating the media before the season even begins.

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