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HomeSportsKyrie Irving's return to Nets could come Sunday vs. Grizzlies: report

Kyrie Irving’s return to Nets could come Sunday vs. Grizzlies: report


Kyrie Irving is reportedly reaching the end of the six-step program the Brooklyn Nets ordered him to complete to return to the court. And his return could come Sunday at home against the Memphis Grizzlies. 

ESPN reports that Irving will miss the Nets’ game with the Portland Trail Blazers on the road Thursday night, but his suspension, which will reach eight games Thursday, is apparently close to an end. 

The National Basketball Players Association has been working closely with the Nets and Irving to end the suspension. ESPN reported that Irving is “taking ownership of the process, which is what the Nets and league hoped would be the case.”

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Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) at Barclays Center Oct 29, 2022, in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) at Barclays Center Oct 29, 2022, in Brooklyn.
(Wendell Cruz/USA Today Sports)

“Kyrie is continuing his journey of dialogue and education,” NBPA Executive Director Tamika Tremaglio told ESPN. “He has been grappling with the full weight of the impact of his voice and actions, particularly in the Jewish community. 

“Kyrie rejects antisemitism in any form, and he’s dedicated to bettering himself and increasing his level of understanding. He plans to continue this journey well into the future to ensure that his words and actions align with his pursuit of truth and knowledge.”

The six-step program for Irving is as follows, via The Athletic:

  1. Issue an apology for posting a link to the movie on Oct. 27, condemn the harmful and false content and make clear that he does not have anti-Jewish beliefs.
  2. Complete the anti-hate causes that Irving, the Nets and the Anti-Defamation League agreed upon in their joint release on Nov. 2, including a $500,000 donation toward causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate and intolerance in communities.
  3. Complete sensitivity training created by the Nets.
  4. Complete antisemitic/anti-hate training designed by the Nets.
  5. Meet with representatives from the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish community leaders in Brooklyn.
  6. After completing 1 through 5, meet with owner Joe Tsai and lead franchise officials and demonstrate the lessons learned and that the gravity of the harm caused in the situation is understood and provide assurances that this type of behavior will not be repeated.

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Many have debated whether the Nets are going overboard with their punishment after Irving’s decision to post a link to an antisemitic film.

Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets during Round 1 Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs April 25, 2022, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. 

Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets during Round 1 Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs April 25, 2022, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. 
(Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown called Nets owner Joe Tsai’s remarks on Irving returning “alarming.” Tsai said last week that Irving “still had work to do” to return. 

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, a former teammate of Irving’s, believed the Nets were going too far.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who is Jewish, had a lengthy meeting with Irving. He came away saying Irving is not prejudiced against Jewish people. However, Silver said he understood the Nets’ suspension due to the “uncharted territory” the team was navigating. 

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Nike co-founder Phil Knight also made comments about the situation, saying the relationship between the apparel company and Irving would be terminated. 

“Kyrie stepped over the line,” Knight told CNBC in an interview. “It’s kind of that simple. So, he made some statement that we can’t abide by, and that’s why we ended the relationship. And I was fine with that.” 

Brown clapped back on Twitter, saying, “Since when did Nike care about ethics?” Irving was making a reported $11 million from Nike, and the company was getting ready to release the latest Kyrie basketball sneaker.

Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets during a game against the Boston Celtics March 6, 2022, at the TD Garden in Boston.

Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets during a game against the Boston Celtics March 6, 2022, at the TD Garden in Boston.
(Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

The description of the movie on Amazon that Irving posted says the film “uncovers the true identity of the Children of Israel by proving the true ethnicity of Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, the Sons of Ham, Shem and Japheth. Find out what Islam, Judaism and Christianity has covered up for centuries in regards to the true biblical identity of the so-called ‘Negro’ in this movie packed with tons of research.”

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Irving later apologized “to All Jewish families and Communities” hurt by his post but only after the Nets suspended him. 

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos and Joe Morgan contributed to this report



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