Leave the Man Alone – The Curious Case of Kyrie Irving

Published by Fran Cava

As the preseason comes to a close, the only story the media seems to be interested in is Kyrie Irving. It is impossible to go on any social media outlet without someone ranting about his character or attitude. This slander isn’t particularly new either. Kyrie through the years has been dragged for his questionable leadership – his contributions to a team environment – and of course how he handles the media. The difference now is that he’s in Brooklyn; where the media isn’t as laid back as it was in Cleveland or even in Boston. Not exactly the greatest career move to go to New York when your not fond of the media, but that’s beside the point.

Analysts and reporters became outraged the other day when Kyrie “threatened” to boycott the media this season. Kyrie has gone through cold spells with the media but has never completely shut them out. Charles Barkley made a good point by saying, “They don’t pay you $40 million just to play basketball. Part of it is sitting down with you guys, sitting down with me and Kenny… “. Part of player’s contracts include obligations to speak with the media, so technically Kyrie has to at least give them some sound bites. The problem the media can’t seem to grasp is that the man simply does not trust them.

Here’s how it usually goes.

Kyrie sits down and says something like the Earth is flat, or he may sit down and just give some cold responses to get through it. This is turned into a headline about how Kyrie is a conspiracist, or how he is toxic/locker room cancer because he doesn’t want to talk. He then proceeds to shut down for the media because he feels whatever he says will be twisted. Then eventually he gets over it, starts to talk again, and the cycle repeats.

Now, every athlete is usually forced to talk, even when they don’t want to. Like Charles said it’s part of the job, but when you have 200 other guys to talk to it might be okay to leave the guy alone for a week. Some people love the spotlight. Put a camera in front of Curry at any time and he’ll give the writers something to work with. Some guys want to just play ball and collect checks. For role players that’s easy, but since Kyrie’s a star that creates complications. It’s brutally honest but fans don’t care what Joe Harris has to say, they want to hear from their star point guard. That being said, if a guy wants a few days off from talking then he should be entitled to that, especially since the season hasn’t even started. He shouldn’t have guys like Stephen A. attacking his character, dragging Kobe’s name into this mess by saying he would be disappointed. For one it’s a cheap way to get a headline, and secondly, it pushes Kyrie away even more. He’s said in the past that he’s dealt with mental health issues throughout his career, so the harassment by the media is quite questionable. The league has said that they want guys to be more open about these types of issues, yet when he comes out and wants some space it’s not granted. From his perspective, every encounter with the media leaves him in darker light with the public than before.

The New York media isn’t going to get any easier for him. So while he can continue on this brief media exodus, he’s going to have to eventually talk this season. It wouldn’t kill them to give a little more spotlight to trade candidates like Levert, Spencer, and Allen though. Going forward maybe just be less hard on him, and give the guy some space so he feels comfortable for interviews. Also, don’t ask questions like this…

7 Comments

  1. Who said it? “Just shut up and playball”. Somethings need to be left unsaid by athletes. Politics for instance and science, for goodness sakes “the world is flat”? . My problem is I have no sympathy for a man making uber millions, who coasted through a college career, free by the way, when thousands dont even have access to a higher education and have enough logic to know the earth is round fucker, thats fifth grade bullshit. Maybe someone should have stepped in during those years and said, hey Kyrie put down the basketball for a half hour and pick up a fucking book! Kyrie is a victim of the system for sure but I cant let him skate stupidity because stupidity must be confronted in all its forms. As for his ideas and expressions in regard to basketball, its all in play. If he is going to stick his size 15 or whatever size shoe in his mouth, so be it. He should be pushed and prodded because its the job of the journalist or a rival player to “get in his head” get a headline or a mental advantage. Take MJ, the master of the mental game. So Kyrie if your going to be stupid enough to open your mouth enjoy the aftertaste of the fertilizer your shoveling.

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    1. He got a free education because of his ability, it’s not his fault his talent gave him that opportunity. It seems ur a bit in the Stone Age with your theories on how players should act. They have a bigger platform then they have ever had, and they are no longer just players. “Shut up and dribble” was one of the most idiotic things ever said on National TV. Imagine if Jordan was told to shutup. As for Kyrie his words get twisted constantly. There’s bigger problems to worry about than what he thinks about the earth. Come up with better questions if your a journalist, there’s no reason for him to be asked “is lebron a father figure”. I don’t care how much money he makes, he earned it

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  2. Talent gave him an opportunity to go to college and LEARN NOTHING. “STONEAGE”? Stone age is that boys mind at work and you want me to respect that? I dont care how BIG a platform anyone has, take TRUMP…an idiot is an idiot. “Shut up and dribble” was the most concise and brave statement ever made, I applaud whoever said it. Jordon was quiet, he stuck to “The game” and all aspects of the “Game” staying within the proper parameters. It’s a journalists job to write a story, get a headline and that goes especially in this media fragmented world. And finally, no one cares how much absurd money these athletes make, but what they say is another matter.

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  3. So.me athletes have had a rough time with the media since they invented electricity. I know that as a star athlete you will be asked mundane, illogical, and sometimes antagonistic questions on a daily basis for months at a time. And most handle it as part of their job, but some won’t be able to, then they become targets and media members begin to break down that weakness for their own benefit. The best remedy for these players is to lead their teams to victory which is what I’m hoping for as I look forward to an interesting bklyn nets season

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    1. In the end wins prevail over anything in the eyes of the media. If Kyrie and KD start to put on a show they may become the new star darlings of NY reporters. That could boast well for people’s perspective on Kyrie

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  4. He gets paid millions to do what he loves. Everyone has something they hate about their job but if I was getting paid millions , I would be grabbing everybody’s microphone and telling an entire story. I have been a fan of kyrie for years and I have written a few blogs about him. Yes he may have some mental issues going on but he can do a quick 2 min interview once a week .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand the view of how a multimillionaire athlete should be able to conduct small interviews, and at least entertain the reporters with a story. That being said, and as you probably already know, Kyrie and the media don’t exactly have the best relationship. This is just one of those periods where he’s less talkative, although he did a few interviews the past couple of days

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