Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving spoke with the media for the first time on Monday, days after Irving and the team were fined $25,000 by the league for dodging his media responsibilities.
Irving addressed a number of issues during the nearly 17-minute session including his Instagram post where he seemingly called the media "pawns".
"Like I said, the focus is on what's going on and the tasks, here you know my job and I wanted to make sure that that was clear," Irving said. "There are no distractions, nothing about dispelling anything, nothing about going back and forth, nothing about calling out one person or another, not even refer to you guys as pawns.
"It's just really how I felt about the mistreatment of certain artists when we get to a certain platform..."- Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) December 14, 2020
Kyrie ended his media blackout and clarified his "pawns" comment. pic.twitter.com/u7wVjaH8dT
"It's just really how I felt about the mistreatment of certain artists, when we get to a certain platform of when we make decisions within our lives, to have full control and ownership, you know we go through a rigorous season. We do everything we're asked to do and we want to perform in a secure and protected space and if I can't have my voice protected on this platform, where I offer myself and my art...just inviting everyone to it because this is what I've been blessed to do.
"I didn't make it from the best circumstances I made it because my family had a foundation and taught me the right things and part of the principle-led life so having that in basketball in my art, it's just finding a balance, and that's all."
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Irving also addressed the recent trade rumours that have linked the Nets as a possible trade destination for All-NBA guard James Harden.
"That part of our business is going to be what it is," Irving said according to Mike Scotto of HoopsHype. "There's no control that we have as players to at least manage what's being said in terms of rumour mills and what's being reported. Let's just leave it at that. James is a great player, and we wish him well."
According to Chris Milholen of SB Nation's NetsDaily, Irving thanked reporters following each question and was pleasant in all aspects. He even had some good words to say about his head coach Hall-of-Famer Steve Nash.
Irving made headlines in the offseason when he made an appearance on Kevin Durant's ETC podcast and said he didn't "really see (the Nets) having a head coach". After game one of the preseason, Irving has walked those comments back saying: "Steve's been amazing. He commands the respect.
"It's giving us a comfortable space to grow, to communicate. You have a two-time MVP coaching."
Irving and the Nets will take the court again on Friday in Boston for the final time this preseason. They'll open the season on Dec. 23 hosting the Golden State Warriors.
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