Now we know why Kyrie Irving no longer works in Cleveland or Boston for that matter, either.
One of the best players in the National Basketball Association, Irving occasionally feels a need to speak his mind – or not. Right now, Irving is in his vow of silence mode, a decision he announced on social media.
Mum’s the word. He ain’t doin’ no media. So there!
That decision came at a time when the NBA, a leader in dealing with the pandemic, was making players available for Zoom interviews. Others were happy to cooperate. Irving, who has a track record of marching to his own drummer in his previous NBA stops and was invited to leave town as a result, decided not to cooperate. He could not be bothered.
The NBA was not amused and fined him $25,000 for his decision. And by the way, they charged the Brooklyn Nets, Irving’s current employer, $25,000 as well.
That fine won’t make the slightest dent in the $136.5 million, four- year contract Irving signed with the Nets before last season. He played 20 games in Year One of the deal before shoulder surgery shut down his season.
So it seemed natural to see how his recovery was going, how he felt about teaming with Kevin Durant, another important new Net. We’ll never know.
Earlier, Irving appeared on a podcast with Durant and declared his new teammate was the first player he felt confident in as an equally good option as himself to take a winning shot.
That apparently includes LeBron James, the best player of this NBA generation who teamed with Irving on the 2016 NBA champion Cavaliers.
Instead of an interview, Irving released his personal manifesto on Instagram proclaiming, among other things, “I’ve had enough of someone else’s propaganda, I’m for truth no matter who tells it. I’m for justice no matter who it’s for or against. I’m s human being first and foremost and as such I am for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole,’’
And that, it would seem, is his silence.
“I am here for Peace, Love and Greatness. So stop distracting me and my team and appreciate the Art, We move different over here.’’
And then he offered a parting thought for the media, dipping into chess for a final shot.
“I do not talk to Pawns,’’ he wrote. “My attention is worth more.’’
And that, as a number of grand masters have said, is “Checkmate.’’