The Brooklyn Nets and Kyrie Irving were fined $35,000 each for violations of the NBA's media access rules Wednesday.
The NBA said the fines were a result of Irving's "repeated refusal to participate in postgame media availability."
Irving has regularly avoided meeting with reporters following games this season. NBA rules require players who participate in games to be made available to the media after games.
Irving has long had a tenuous relationship with the press; he refused his preseason media requirements in favor of a statement that ridiculed "pawns." The NBA fined him $25,000 as a result.
“The focus is on what’s going on here. You know, my job,” Irving said in December. “And I wanted to make sure that, that was clear. 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. You know what I mean? Or media. 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."
The fact that the organization also got fined signals the league feels the Nets have not done a good enough job pushing Irving to meet with the media.
While postgame availability is rarely a taxing endeavor—it is almost never more than 10-15 minutes for a player—Irving has seemingly decided he will attend only when he feels up to it. That's his right, but it's also worth noting that the NBA and media work in concert with one another. Reporters get paid for their coverage of stars like Irving, and the NBA product gets exposure as a result.
It's likely the NBA will only continue to increase punishment if Irving continues to skirt his responsibility.