After weeks of using Instagram stories and written statements as his primary communication methods, Kyrie Irving spoke to reporters yesterday after his Brooklyn Nets practiced and reflected on playing for the first time since February, being on the court with Kevin Durant and why he chose to violate the league's media rules.
"The focus is on what's going on in here," Irving said when asked about not speaking to reporters previously. "And I wanted to make sure that was clear, no distractions, nothing about dispelling anything, nothing about going back and forth."
Despite the league's requirement that healthy players be made available to the press corps before or after practices and games, Irving had not spoken to reporters throughout training camp, instead issuing a statement. That resulted in both Irving and the Nets being fined $25,000 last week. Irving responded to that fine on Instagram, saying, in part: "I pray we utilize the 'fine money' for the marginalized communities in need, especially seeing where our world is presently... I do not talk to Pawns. My attention is worth more."
Irving went onto say that the comment was not directed at any specific person or at journalists as a group.
"It's really just about how I felt about the mistreatment of certain artists when we get to a certain platform of when we make decisions within our lives to have full control and ownership ... We want to perform in a secure and protected space," he said.