It necessarily means a mix of praise and control, the latest high-profile source of which came from NBA Hall of Fame Charles Barkley, who weighed in on Irving’s preseason choice to boycott multiple media availabilities. .
“I don’t know how much he’s trying to argue,” Barkley said during an appearance on ESPN Friday. Keyshawn, JWill et Zubin morning show. “What is he saying and what is he trying to say?” He starts talking about what artist he is – he’s a basketball player. This is what he is. We are not frontline workers, we are not teachers. Man you dribble a basketball. Stop pretending you’re the smartest person in the world. ”
In early December, Irving released a statement through a spokesperson saying it would take the place of talking to him directly to the media to ensure his message was “properly delivered.”
In the statement, Irving also said the difficulties of 2020 contributed to his decision.
“Life has hit differently this year and it forces us, it forces me, to move differently,” Irving wrote. “So, this is the start of this change. ”
Irving and his team, the Brooklyn Nets, were then fined $ 25,000 by the NBA for violating media access requirements imposed by the league.
When he responded to the fine, Irving wrote on social media that he prayed the money would go to marginalized communities in need and appeared to chastise the media by saying, “I’m not talking to Pawns, my attention is worth more. On December 14, Irving made his first media availability of the preseason and was asked to respond to his “pawns” comment.
“No distractions, nothing to dispel, nothing to go back and forth, nothing to call one person or another, not even to refer to [the media] like pawns, ”Irving said. This is really how I felt about the mistreatment of certain artists, when we come to a certain platform, when we make decisions in our lives to have complete control and ownership. ”
It is not known at this time if a specific moment led Irving to these feelings, but Irving’s media history is littered with examples of not seeing the media in concert.
Perhaps most notably, as a member of the Boston Celtics, Irving’s groundless thinking about the possibility of the earth being flat has drawn widespread criticism. During a follow-up interview in 2018 with Le New York Times, Irving sought to rephrase his comments as a philosophical referendum on how knowledge is acquired and the need for research. He eventually apologized to science teachers who were struggling to teach their students that the earth was, indeed, round after his comments.
More recently, in the run-up to the NBA’s Orlando bubble, Irving was reportedly among several players who spoke out against returning the NBA to play due to nationwide unrest over social injustice. and racism, fueled by the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. . Irving’s concern that playing basketball would draw attention to essential racism discourse in America has been widely understood, but some high profile media figures have called him a disruptor to the NBA’s comeback plans.
Despite Irving’s apparent aversion to communicating with the media, he is contractually obligated to do so, as Barkley noted in Friday’s interview.
“Can you talk about social issues and things like that?” Of course, ”Barkley said. “But some of that other stuff, I’m like, ‘Yo man, you realize you’re just a basketball player, right? Looks like he’s saying, “I want you to know I’m the smartest in the room.” Well, first of all, you are not. You only went to college for six months. A lot of gamers, a lot of guys are smarter than you.
“Just answer silly basketball questions and if you want to say something about social justice say it and mean it because it’s important and meaningful. But all these other things, yo man, shut up and talk basketball.