On Monday, Kyrie Irving spoke to reporters for the first time this preseason, just a few weeks after skipping the Nets' Media Week and implying that he wouldn't be talking to the press at all this season.
During Monday's session he also addressed a days-old Instagram post that contained the following headline-grabbing phrase that was believed to be about members of the media: "I do not talk to Pawns. My attention is worth more." That pair of sentences was used to cap an IG Live post regarding a $25,000 fine both he and the Nets were hit with over Irving skipping said Media Week.
You can read the full post below:
On Monday, Irving claimed that the "pawns" remark wasn't aimed at any one person, or at journalists as a group.
“The focus is on what’s going on in here, you know, my job,” Irving said, according to SNY. “And I wanted to make sure that that was clear, no distractions, nothing about dispelling anything, nothing about going back-and-forth, nor about calling out one person or another, not even to refer to you guys as pawns, you know what I mean, or media.”
He also said that the "pawns" comment was about "the mistreatment of certain artists." Make of that what you will.
"It's really just about 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," he said. "(...) We want to perform in a secure and protected space."
During the same 17-plus minute sitting he also talked about being on the court for the first time since February (the same month he had season-ending shoulder surgery), playing with Kevin Durant, and clarified a statement/unintended slight regarding new coach Steve Nash.
"It's a different show, it was a different stage, and it's a new beginning in terms of what we're building," Irving said of playing with a Nets team that could make a deep playoff run for the first time in nearly two decades. "And moving forward with the pieces that we have here. And that includes 7-11, so get to know us."
As stated above, he also revised an inadvertant comment made about the team's incoming coach. That comment, made in October on a podcast hosted by Durant, saw Irving say that he didn't "really see [the Nets] as having a head coach."
On Monday he had nothing but nice things to say about the Hall-of-Famer-turned-sideline-general.
"Steve's been amazing," Irving said, according to ESPN. "He kind of commands the respect. I think I've got to take back my comments in terms of the head coach back a few months ago. But it's just like, man, we have such a great synergy. Everyone feels like we're coaching one another to be better, so I'm grateful for that."