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Nets coach Steve Nash has not talked to Kyrie Irving about refusing to fulfill his media requirements — and it doesn’t sound as if he plans to.
Irving, who has refused to talk to the press so far in training camp, and the Nets were fined $25,000 Thursday by the NBA for repeated violations of the league’s media policy. Irving doubled down on social media, dismissively referring to the fine using air quotes and suggesting the media were pawns of the league.
A day before his first preseason game as a coach, Nash was asked if he’d spoken to Irving about his boycott and comments — and if he hadn’t, why not?
“I haven’t addressed it with him thus far. That’s a good question,” said Nash, who proceeded to give an insight into why not.
“He’s been unbelievable in camp. He’s been playing at an extremely high level. He’s been a leader. So, while he may not be in your guys’ good books right now, he’s in my good book. So, I’m enjoying coaching him. He’s been unbelievable. But if he seeks my thoughts or wants to discuss it, I’m happy to discuss it with him. But I have not had that conversation with him.”
The Nets host the Wizards in Sunday’s preseason opener, and Nash already has said Irving is expected to start. But when asked what Irving’s complaint was, or when the Nets expected their point guard to resume fulfilling his media requirements, Nash said he had no clue.
“To be honest, I’m trying to learn my position as well right now,” Nash said. “So I’m definitely focusing in on our process here of implementing all of our schemes, sets, scenarios, starting to schedule those things out, hitting the film every day. So I haven’t gotten into the off-the-court stuff yet. So I apologize if I can’t give you a better answer.”
After a combative relationship with the press in Boston, Irving hasn’t had a conversation with the media covering the Nets since February, when his season was cut short after just 20 games by a shoulder injury that required surgery.
Irving did appear on Kevin Durant’s “The ETCs” podcast, praising the Nets star as the first teammate in whom he had felt confidence to hit a last-second shot. When many called that comment a slight of LeBron James, Irving took to Instagram and called that a “false narrative” for a “clickbait society.” He followed that up by ripping the media in his last tweet on Oct. 1.
Now comes his boycott. Irving released a statement via a spokesperson and followed that up with an Instagram Story in which he said, “I do not talk to Pawns. My attention is worth more.”
Irving’s spokesperson told The Post that Irving still plans to talk to traditional media, but offered no timeline as to when.
Nash asked again if it was fair to say he had no idea what set Irving off or when he’d speak, and the Nets coach confirmed “that is accurate.”
Caris LeVert, who is day-to-day with a patellar contusion, will sit out Sunday. Spencer Dinwiddie will start in his place. “We’re just going to be really cautious because it’s preseason,” Nas saidh. … DeAndre Jordan will get the nod at center.