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Kyrie Irving of the Nets goes again to feedback on the media, Steve Nash

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The pre-season chatter about Kyrie Irving has centered on his unwillingness to speak to the media, which has overshadowed comments he made in October about not seeing the Nets as head coach. He finally spoke to reporters on Monday to set the record straight on both topics.

Days after calling the media a "farmer" on his Instagram feed on Friday, Irving told reporters who interviewed him on Monday that this was not what he meant.

"It's really just about how I felt about the mistreatment of certain artists when we get to a certain platform where we make decisions in our lives for full control and ownership," Irving said, according to ESPN. He later added, "We want to perform in a safe and secure space."

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Irving released a statement last week that he would not speak to the media during the 2020-21 NBA season and instead would focus on what is happening internally to the Nets. The NBA and the players' association have reached an agreement that requires players to speak to the press. Irving was fined $ 25,000 for his actions.

Not speaking to reporters also meant Irving couldn't comment on what he said on a podcast from Brooklyn teammate Kevin Durant's October. Irving said at the time that he "didn't really see [the networks] as a head coach". Steve Nash is in his first head coaching gig and first responsible season in Brooklyn, so Irving used his press conference on Monday to clarify that as well.

"Steve was amazing," said Irving. "He kind of commands the respect. I think I have to retract my comments about the head coach a few months ago. But it's just, man, we have such a great synergy. Everyone feels like us." I train each other to get better, so I'm grateful for that. "

Irving didn't attend press conferences throughout training camp and let his teammates talk about his recovery from shoulder surgery and how he hooted with a healthy Durant. Irving returned to the court on Sunday preseason against the wizards, scoring 18 points and giving out four assists. The networks quickly branded "7-11" as a catchphrase; Durant wears number 7 and Irving wears number 11.

"It's a different show, it was a different stage, and it's a new beginning in terms of what we're building," said Irving. "And carry on with the pieces we have here. And that includes '7-11' so get to know us."

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Melinda Martin