The NBA has fined both Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets $35,000 for violating the league's media policy. The fines are the result of "Irving's repeated refusal to participate in team postgame media availability." This is not the first time Irving has been fined for skipping league-mandated media sessions.
His first fine of $25,000 came in December, and afterward, he fanned the flames by saying "I do not talk to pawns. My attention is worth more." All 24 All-Star selections were obligated to participate in pre-game media sessions over Zoom, but Irving chose not to. He has also missed media sessions after recent games, which ultimately triggered the fine by the NBA.
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Irving has never been happy with the way that he is covered by the media, and has lobbied for fine money to be redirected to underprivileged communities. Irving has been criticized as a teammate and a player throughout tenures with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, and now, the Nets, and he made waves in 2017 when he claimed to believe that the Earth was flat.
With Irving's Nets widely considered the favorite to win the NBA championship, media scrutiny on him and his team will be fiercer than ever. That will be especially true in the later rounds of the playoffs when broadcasting partners often air press conferences. Those partners pay billions of dollars for the privilege of access, and if Irving does not participate, he can expect to face even heftier fines down the line.