Kyrie Irving’s new policy on not talking to the media has already proven costly, and it’s likely just the beginning.
The NBA announced Thursday that it slapped a $25,000 fine on Irving and the Brooklyn Nets for violating the league’s rules governing interview access. “The fines result from Irving’s refusal on several occasions this week to participate in team media availability,” a league statement read.
Irving declined a Zoom call with reporters and instead issued a statement, saying that his “goal this season is to let my work on and off the court speak for itself.” It was a strange decision, given the NBA media’s obsessively positive reporting about the league it covers.
In other words, rarely do people who write about and talk about the league form any hard-hitting opinions. That would mean running the risk of upsetting a potential source or being cast aside for not agreeing with all of the league’s politics.
Of course, you can’t say that about Stephen A. Smith, who has always been forthright when it comes to the NBA. He calls out players, coaches and teams when warranted. Stephen A. actually went off on Irving after learning of Irving’s uncharacteristic decision to keep quiet.
Will the fine lead to Irving returning to media availability? It’s hard to say. With Irving, Kevin Durant and first-time coach Steve Nash, there will be tons of buzz surrounding the Nets this season. And given the league’s TV ratings disaster of 2019-20, the league could use something — anything — to generate interest.
More silence will undoubtedly lead to more fines, for both Irving and the organization. Guess we’re about find out if either party really cares.