NBA 2020-21: Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love censured former teammate Kyrie Irving for using the term “pawns” to describe members of the media.
Irving, who’s now a member of the Brooklyn Nets, used the phrase earlier Friday in a statement posted on Instagram after he was fined $25,000 by the NBA for failing to complete his preseason media availability:
Kyrie Irving on IG. pic.twitter.com/hTtRsLC29s
— HoopsHype (@hoopshype) December 11, 2020
“The way I’ve handled things, it hasn’t been perfect. I’ve made a lot of mistakes that I take full responsibility for. I apologize. I haven’t done it perfectly. I haven’t said the right things all the time. I don’t want to sit in a place like I’m on a pedestal from anybody. I’m a normal human being that makes mistakes. For me, I think because of how fixated I was on trying to prove other people wrong, I got into a lot of habits that were bad, like reading stuff and reacting emotionally. That’s just not who I am.”
Irving has had a long-standing feud with the media, and he explained his side of the story during a March 2019 interview with Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, saying he felt his comments were too often used to create drama.
Check out what Kevin Love said:
A note on statement Kyrie Irving issued (pictured below) in lieu of speaking w/media during NBA’s Media Week: it doesn’t apply to entire season, as Newsday noted. Details on that from Ashley Blackwood, Chief Communications Officer for Irving & KAI Enterprise, is pictured below: pic.twitter.com/8cdiGYaBIh
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) December 6, 2020
“Calling anybody a pawn is a sure sign of disrespect,” Love told reporters Friday. “I’m not a divisive person.”
The $25,000 fine isn’t likely to sway Irving’s stance on speaking with the media since it’s a mere drop in the bucket for a player making $33.5 million this season as part of a $136.5 million contract.
Sounds like the Nets media might not be speaking too much with Kyrie Irving this season. We’ll see how this works out.
Irving may not be deterred by the league’s fine, though. He could hypothetically be fined $25,000 for not speaking to the media after each of the team’s 72 regular-season games for a grand total of $1.8 million, or just 5.4 percent of his $33.5 million earnings for the 2020-21 campaign.
The tentative NBA schedule calendar for the 2020-21 season:
• Dec. 11-19, 2020: Preseason games
• Dec. 22, 2020 – March 4, 2021: First Half of regular season
• March 5-10, 2021: All-Star break
• March 11 – May 16, 2021: Second Half of regular season
• May 18-21, 2021: Play-In Tournament
• May 22 – July 22, 2021: 2021 NBA Playoffs