Just like any other NBA game, the NBA All-Star Game also comes with a set of interviews and media appearances. Before the Team LeBron vs Team Durant clash on Sunday (Monday IST), Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving had a Zoom call scheduled with the media before the All-Star Game. Irving, however, backed out of his call.
As per reports, the Kyrie Irving media call was scheduled at Sunday, 11:10 AM EST for the NBA All-Star 2021 game. The media was notified about him backing out at 11:15 AM EST. Irving had decided that he would only talk postgame and not prior to the game. Irving dropped 24 points, 12 assists and 5 rebounds during Team Durant's 170-150 loss, and did not talk about his pre-game absence.
While no official statement has been made, the NBA might look into Irving's absence. All 24 stars at the game were expected to talk to the media on Sunday, either late morning or early afternoon. But the Kyrie Irving media call not taking place as per schedule is not an isolated incident.
Kyrie Irving posted this after being fined by the NBA for refusing to talk to the media this week pic.twitter.com/3eccQxsDwY— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 11, 2020
Earlier this season, Irving was fined $25,000 for violating NBA media rules. The Kyrie Irving vs NBA situation escalated soon, as the player ended up lashing out about the same on his social media. Paired with a Malcolm X quote at the beginning, the Nets star was unapologetically candid in his statement. “I do not talk to Pawns. My attention is worth more,” Irving wrote, referring to him missing the media day mandatory for the players.
Irving was apparently done with other people’s agendas and asked people to “utilize the ‘fine money’ for the marginalized communities in need, especially seeing where our world is presently”. Irving stated that he is here for peace, love and greatness only, asking everyone to stop distracting him and the Nets. “We move different over here”.
Unsurprisingly, Irving’s words were met with criticism. It was pointed out that the NBA donates fine money to various charities across the nation, and Irving’s comments were not needed. Even Kevin Love chose to address Irving’s statement, unhappy with his use of the word “pawn”.