According to the source, Kyrie Irving is close to returning from suspension and might play for the Nets on Sunday against the Grizzlie
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving is almost through with the procedure put forth by club owner Joe Tsai to return to the court. With Sunday’s matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies being Brooklyn’s first home game after returning from a long road trip through the Western Conference, that comeback might come as soon as that game. On Thursday night against the Portland Trail Blazers, Irving will miss his ninth consecutive game.
On Wednesday night, NBPA executive director Tamika Tremaglio told ESPN that “Kyrie is continuing his path of communication and enlightenment.” “A lot of the effect of his words and deeds, especially on the Jewish community, have been weighing heavily on his mind. Kyrie is strongly opposed to antisemitism and is always working to improve himself and broaden his perspective. A lifelong seeker of truth and knowledge, he intends to keep on this path until his words and deeds are in harmony.”
After Irving shared the link to the antisemitic video on social media, he was originally punished for at least five games without pay. Tsai first banned Irving from the Nets and handed him a six-item list of chores to fulfill before he could return to the team after he refused to apologize during many media sessions:
- Apologize and denounce the movie he pushed.
- Donate $500,000 to anti-hate organizations.
- Participate in sensitivity training.
- Complete instruction on antisemitism.
- Meet with ADL and Jewish community leaders.
- Meet with Joe Tsai, the owner of the team, to show your comprehension of the problem.
Wojnarowski claims that although the union, the Nets, and the NBA all worked with Irving to “write his own remedies to end the ban,” the original list of demands has “developed into Irving himself assuming control of the process.” Both Tsai and NBA commissioner Adam Silver have spoken with Irving, and both have said that they do not think he is antisemitic.
Since Irving was banned, the Nets’ fortunes have fluctuated. Without him, they won four of their first five games while also playing their best defensive basketball of the season. However, they lost on Sunday to the 2-10 Los Angeles Lakers and then let up 153 points to the 5-2 Sacramento Kings on Tuesday.
The Nets’ off-court antics won’t improve with another defeat. After Irving’s suspension, the Nets hired Jacque Vaughn as head coach and stopped looking into hiring former Celtics coach Ime Udoka. On Wednesday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that former NBA All-Star Ben Simmons’s availability and performance have caused frustration in Brooklyn, and on Thursday, Kevin Durant discussed his offseason trade request and the Nets’ current state in an interview with Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report.
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The Nets, who are now 6-9, will be hopeful that Irving’s comeback would give them a boost to the top of the Eastern Conference. It seems that this trip may begin as soon as this coming Sunday.