Kyrie Irving opts out of media day, issues statement instead


With the NBA season right around the corner, Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving refused to participate in a Zoom interview with the press as part of “Media Week” and instead released this statement.

COVID-19 has impacted us all in many ways, so I pray for the safety and health of our communities domestically and abroad. I am truly excited for the season to start and I am also praying that everyone remains safe and healthy throughout this journey.

Instead of speaking to the media today, I am issuing this statement to ensure that my message is conveyed properly.

I am committed to show up to work everyday, ready to have fun, compete, perform, and win championships alongside my teammates and colleagues in the Nets organization. My goal this season is to let my work on and off the court speak for itself.

Life hit differently this year and it requires us, it requires me, to move differently. So, this is the beginning of that change.

This year, while different than most because of the coronavirus pandemic, each team makes a handful of their roster available to the media for questions surrounding offseason acquisitions, season expectations, etc. via Zoom calls. The league's media policy requires active players to be accessible to reporters so Irving's failure to participate in a Zoom could result in a preseason fine.

The Nets first preseason game comes against the Washington Wizards on December 13 in the Barclays Center. Irving, 28, is making his return to the court after suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. His last game came against the Wizards last year where he suffered an apparent knee injury. He averaged 27.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 6.4 assists in 20 games.