The Brooklyn Nets might end up being the most entertaining team in the NBA this season regardless of what they do on the actual court.
Case in point: here’s Kyrie Irving, ahead of Friday’s preseason game in Boston, walking the perimeter of the court and burning sage.
Nobody had ever seen this before, and there’s probably a reason for it. As noted by WebMD, burning sage has historically been ritually used by Native Americans and other indigenous peoples to cleanse a space, among other reasons. Given Irving used to play at TD Garden, it checks out as much as anything else does.
Irving has firmly cemented himself as one of the NBA’s most eccentric personalities. That has continued during the preseason even before this. What he’ll do next is anyone’s guess.
Charles Barkley put Kyrie Irving in place with some strong words delivered on Thursday.
Irving was fined by the NBA for not talking with the media as he is contractually obligated to do. The Brooklyn Nets guard made matters worse by slighting the media, saying he doesn’t talk to pawns.
Barkley says Irving needs to stop being unprofessional and thinking he’s smarter than everyone. Barkley made his comments in an interview with KJZ on ESPN Radio.
“I’m not sure what he’s doing. I don’t like it,” Barkley said of Irving. “They don’t pay you 40 million dollars just to play basketball. Part of it is sitting down with you guys, sitting down with me and Kenny [Smith] and Ernie [Johnson] and [Shaquille O’Neal], talking to New York reporters. Being with the media is part of your professional obligation, and you can say what you want to say. But these guys today, they’re different. I don’t hate on them, but I’m not sure what point Kyrie is trying to make.
“He starts talking about what an artist is. He’s a basketball player. That’s what he is. Listen, we’re not frontline responders. We’re not teachers. Yo man, you dribble a basketball, stop acting like you’re the smartest person in the world.
“Now can you talk about social issues and things like that? Of course. But some of this other stuff I’m like ‘yo man, you do realize you’re just a basketball player, right?’ And it seems like he’s like ‘no I want you guys to know I’m the smartest guy in the room.’ Well first of all, you’re not. You only went to college for six months. A lot of guys are smarter than you are. Just answer stupid basketball questions. And if you want to say something about social justice, say it and mean it, because it’s important and significant. But all that other stuff? Like, yo man, shut the he– up and talk basketball.”
It’s important to differentiate things. Barkley isn’t telling Kyrie to “shut up and dribble” when it comes to social justice or other causes. He’s just telling him to act like a professional. Irving is behaving unprofessionally and has taken some anti-media stance that only makes him look bad, all while making the job harder for his teammates, because they have to deal with the nonsense.
It just seems like Irving’s highest priority is being a pain in the rear and making every situation more difficult than it needs to be. Barkley has seen this for a while from Irving.
Kyrie Irving ended his media boycott by finally speaking with reporters on Monday, and the Brooklyn Nets star tried to walk back some of his previous comments that led to negative headlines.
For starters, Irving denied that he was referring to the media as “pawns” when he issued a statement on Friday explaining why he had previously refused to speak with reporters. He said he wasn’t directly referencing reporters when he wrote “I do not talk to pawns” but rather trying to have his “voice protected.”
“The focus is on what’s going on in here, you know, my job,” Irving said, via SNY’s Scott Thompson. “And I wanted to make sure that that was clear, no distractions, nothing about dispelling anything, nothing about going back-and-forth, nor about calling out one person or another, not even to refer to you guys as pawns, you know what I mean, or media.”
Irving said his thoughts were more a reflection of how he feels about “the mistreatment of certain artists.” He probably won’t do himself any favors with that quote, as it is more of the same out-of-touch jargon we have heard from him for years now.
Irving was also asked about remarks he made previously about Nets head coach Steve Nash on Kevin Durant’s “The ETCs” podcast. Kyrie said he didn’t feel the Nets had a “head” coach following the hiring, but he spoke glowingly of Nash on Monday.
“You know, I think I’ve got to take back my comments in terms of the head coach back a few months ago,” Irving said. “Steve’s been amazing. And it really is a reflection of the type of person he is, and the IQ he has for the game. He commands the respect and it’s not through just coming in and being the kind of typical rah-rah coach being on us.”
It’s unclear what exactly Irving is trying to accomplish, but even some of his peers have been critical of his approach. Kevin Love strongly disagreed with his former teammate’s statement. Charles Barkley took things a step further with his thoughts on Irving’s media boycott.
Kyrie Irving made headlines this week for disparaging remarks he made toward the media, and Charles Barkley is among those who think the Brooklyn Nets star needs to get over himself.
In an appearance on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta this week, Barkley said he does not understand what Irving is trying to accomplish by lashing out at the media. He indicated that Irving has been hurt throughout his career by not having the right leadership around him.
“I wish somebody would get in his ear. I do think there is something wrong with Kyrie, I truly believe that. I’m not joking right now,” Barkley said. “I don’t understand what his objective is. Yo man they’re paying you $40 million, you gotta just talk to the press. You can answer the questions you want to, you got to show up and answers questions. I tell all these guys, ‘Man we’re the luckiest dudes in the world. We make millions of dollars just playing a stupid game and part of it is coming on radio shows, talking to the press. They got jobs to do.'”
Barkley is not alone with his opinion. Irving’s former teammate Kevin Love made similar remarks on Friday when he criticized Irving for calling the media “pawns.” Barkley added that he feels sorry for Irving and does not believe he’s a “bad kid.”
“I just think he’s never been around mature adults who told him how he was supposed to act,” the Hall of Famer said. “You know I got lucky with Dr. J and Moses, Maurice Cheeks, and Andrew Toney were like, ‘Yo man this is professional basketball, we’re pro players, you have to act like a pro.’ But see he’s got so much money now he can do whatever the hell he wants to do.”
Irving was fined by the NBA for not fulfilling his media obligations. He defended himself by issuing a statement bashing reporters.
It’s unclear how long Irving plans to go without talking to the media, but he’s calling more attention to himself by boycotting. That is probably the goal, even if Irving would never admit it.
Damian Lillard sent a message to Kyrie Irving on Saturday about the media, and he did so unconventionally.
Lillard popped in an Instagram Live session Irving was hosting Saturday with his Brooklyn Nets teammate, Caris LeVert. The Portland Trail Blazers star then left a few comments telling Irving to do his media sessions.
“Ky bra do your media sessions,” Lillard said, adding some crying laughing emojis.
“Sir please do your media,” he wrote in another comment, also with some laughing emojis.
Irving was fined during the week for not fulfilling his media duties, which are a contracted responsibility for players. Irving later defended himself with a comment disparaging media members.
It’s unclear to what extent Lillard was being serious or joking, but he’s probably trying to at least talk some sense into Irving.
Photo: Frenchieinportland/Wikimedia via CC-BY-SA 4.0
If members of the media were hoping to get an assist from Steve Nash on getting Kyrie Irving to talk to them, it sounds like they’re going to be disappointed.
The Brooklyn Nets coach praised Irving on Saturday, adding that he hadn’t discussed the guard’s controversial Instagram post with him.
“I haven’t addressed it with him thus far,” Nash said, via Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. “He’s been unbelievable in camp. He’s been playing at an extremely high level. He’s been a leader.”
Nash added that he’d be happy to have that discussion if Irving wanted to, but that has not happened.
Irving has made his thoughts on the media quite clear. Even a Nash intervention might not do any good. It doesn’t sound like the first-year head coach is planning anything like that anyway.
Kyrie Irving rubbed many the wrong way with his most recent comment about the media, but it is now giving rise to perhaps the tweet of the year.
The Brooklyn Nets guard was fined $25,000 by the NBA this week for his continued refusal to speak to reporters. Irving responded to the fine with a statement on Instagram in which he referred to the media as “pawns.”
That led to this incredible tweet from chess legend Garry Kasparov. The Russian grandmaster of the sport said that there was nothing wrong with talking to pawns, only when the pawns start answering.
The 57-year-old Kasparov is widely seen as the greatest chess player of all-time, having been ranked No. 1 in the world from 1984 all the way up until his retirement in 2005. Thus, you knew that he was not going to pass up the opportunity to respond once Irving stepped foot into his realm.
Not everybody had as humorous of a reaction to Irving’s comments as Kasparov did, but this tweet was definitely a checkmate.
Kyrie Irving is taking a strong stance against the media heading into the 2020-21 season, and Kevin Love does not agree with the way his former teammate is handling himself.
Irving was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Thursday for declining to speak with the media on numerous occasions. The Brooklyn Nets star issued a statement on Friday insulting the media and calling reporters “pawns.” Love is among those who found the comments disrespectful.
“To call you guys or anybody pawns — I’ve just always felt that everybody has a part to play. This is you guys’ livelihood,” Love said. “I’m thankful that we’re all working and you guys are all working. I think that goes without saying right now.”
Love, who played with Irving on the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2014-2017, spoke about how he learned to respect the media from the late Flip Saunders. He added that he can understand what Irving is trying to accomplish on some level, but he is strongly opposed to the way the star point guard is going about it.
“I think that calling anybody a pawn is a sure sign of disrespect,” Love said. “I understand where Kyrie is coming from in trying to better a number of people’s lives, but I’m just not a divisive person. That’s where I stand on that. I love Kyrie. I know he’s changed and I don’t know what’s going on but, again, I’m not a divisive person and I believe everybody has a part to play so long as the intent’s there and it comes from a good place.”
You can hear Love’s full thoughts below:
Irving has not provided any specific reasons why he decided to make a blanket statement about the media, so calling all reporters “pawns” is lazy and unfair. He certainly can’t blame the media for his recent LeBron James headline.
Irving is always trying to prove why he’s the smartest guy in the room, which is why he’s notoriously difficult to play alongside. That will be worth monitoring as Kevin Durant makes his Nets debut this season.
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.
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.
Kyrie Irving declined to speak with the media for the Brooklyn Nets’ media day, and now he and the team are paying the price.
Irving and the Nets have been fined $25,000 by the league for violating rules about media access.
“The fines result from Irving’s refusal on several occasions this week to participate in team media availability,” the league said in a statement.
Irving may think that he is taking control of his narrative by refusing to speak with the media, but he’s not helping himself. Instead, he’s making more headlines, getting fined, and making himself and his team look bad.
Rather than cut them off entirely, Irving would be better served learning how to handle the media better. And as much as he likes to blame the media, his recent LeBron James headline cannot be blamed on any third party.