Irving, Nets each fined $25,000 for point guard’s silence

Sports

NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA is making Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets pay for the point guard’s silence.

The league fined Irving and the team $25,000 apiece Thursday because he has refused to speak to the media thus far during the preseason.

In announcing the fines, the NBA said Irving has refused on several occasions this week to participate in team media availability.

Irving has had a complicated relationship with the media and was nearly fined by the NBA last season for not speaking as obligated while sidelined by a shoulder injury.

This time, Irving has not spoken during any of the Nets’ press sessions, all being held via Zoom because of the coronavirus pandemic. He released a statement through his publicist last Friday to address his media silence, saying he wanted to ensure that his message was conveyed properly.

“I am committed to show up to work everyday, ready to have fun, compete, perform, and win championships alongside my teammates and colleagues in the Nets organization. My goal this season is to let my work on and off the court speak for itself,” Irving said.

“Life hit differently this year and it requires us, it requires me, to move differently. So, this is the beginning of that change.”

The publicist clarified that the statement didn’t mean Irving didn’t intend to speak to the media. However, he still hasn’t, even though the Nets have had availabilities on every day but one since then.

They play their preseason opener on Sunday against Washington.

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