Irving skips media availability, releases statement

NEW YORK — In lieu of speaking to reporters as a part of media week, Nets guard Kyrie Irving elected to send out a written statement on Friday afternoon.

“Instead of speaking to the media today, I am issuing this statement to ensure that my message is properly conveyed,” the statement said, in part. “I am committed to show up to work every day, ready to have fun, compete, perform, and win championships alongside my teammates and colleagues in the Nets organization.”

Usually, teams select one day ahead of the beginning of training camp and make the majority of their roster available to reporters. The league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols mandate that only a handful of players are allowed in the practice facility at one time. As a result, teams across the league have done a media week with a few players being made available virtually to reporters each day.

The league’s media policy requires active players to be accessible to reporters at practices and games. Failure to do so could result in a fine.

“COVID-19 has impacted us all in many ways, so I pray for the safety and health of our communities domestically and abroad. I am truly excited for the season to start and I am also praying that everyone remains safe and healthy throughout this journey,” Irving said in the rest of the statement. “… My goal this season is to let my work on and off the court speak for itself. Life hit differently this year and it requires us, it requires me, to move differently. So, this is the beginning of that change.”

Irving played in just 20 games for the Nets in the 2019-20 season because of a shoulder injury. He had surgery to repair his right shoulder in March. Kevin Durant, DeAndre Jordan and Caris LeVert are among the Nets players that have worked out with Irving during the offseason. All three players noted that Irving looked to be back in pre-injury form.

The Nets begin their group training camp on Sunday and kick off their preseason on Dec. 13.

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