A headstrong Duke basketball product is making every effort to avoid media.
On Thursday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported via tweet that former Duke basketball one-and-done and current Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving cost himself and his franchise a $25K fine apiece from the NBA. The league provided the following statement as an explanation:
“The fines result from Irving’s refusal on several occasions this week to participate in team media availability.”
Less than 24 hours after the league doled out punishment to both Irving and the Nets, the nine-year veteran, six-time All-Star, 2016 NBA champion, one-time flat-earther, and devilish instigator (see his perceived diss of LeBron James a few months back) fired back on Instagram. He began by quoting Malcolm X, Year X:
“I’ve had enough of someone else’s propaganda. I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for Justice, no matter who it’s for or against. I’m a human being first and foremost, and as such, I am for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”
Beneath that quote, Irving — who warned earlier in the week that he would skip out on his contractual obligations to speak to the media in an attempt to make certain his “message is conveyed properly” — unleashed what comes across as a strongly worded rebuke of both the NBA and the media:
“I pray we utilize the ‘fine money’ for the marginalized communities in need, especially seeing where our world is presently. (I am) I am here for Peace, Love, and Greatness. So stop distracting me and my team, and appreciate the Art. We move different over here. I do not talk to Pawns. My attention is worth more.”
The Duke basketball alum may significantly fatten the NBA’s wallet
Assuming the 28-year-old Kyrie Irving continues to steer clear of the media at all costs, not only will the fines surely continue to roll in, but also ratings for Nets games are likely to see a sizeable boost.
After all, the average NBA fan devours star-fueled drama. Plus, Brooklyn’s early schedule already includes some tantalizing matchups.
After hosting the Washington Wizards to tip their preseason at 6 p.m. Sunday, the Nets will head to Irving’s old stomping grounds to face fellow Duke basketball great Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics on Friday.
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Then after opening its regular season at home versus the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 22, Irving & Co. will return to Boston for a Christmas Day clash with the Celtics.
Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more on Kyrie Irving plus other Duke basketball news and views.