Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving will miss his seventh game Tuesday against the Sacramento Kings as his team-imposed suspension continues with no definite timetable for his return.
Nets owner Joe Tsai told New York Post over the weekend that Irving “still has work to do” and “has to show people that he’s sorry,” noting that the controversial player only apologized after being suspended.
Irving met with Tsai Thursday, a few days after facing NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Tsai and Silver came out of those separate meetings believing Irving was not antisemitic.
Irving is “itching to get back on the floor,” according to NBA insider Marc Stein and he could use an intervention to fast-track the lifting of his suspension.
“There have been rumbles for days that the National Basketball Players Association, at some stage, could move to file a grievance on Irving’s behalf if the various parties involved can’t reach a resolution on a return timetable. Both Brown and Irving are NBPA vice presidents.”Marc Stein via The Stein Line Substack
Jaylen Brown, Irving’s former teammate at Boston, believes the requirements asked of Irving before he could play again is “a lot” and that more players have expressed discomfort. Both Brown and Irving are vice presidents of the players association.
LeBron James, who won a championship with Irving in Cleveland, condemned the unfortunate actions of Irving and made it clear he doesn’t condone it but also views the Nets’ requirements as excessive.
There is still no word when Irving will undergo sensitivity and antisemitic training and meet with the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish leaders, which are all part of the team-imposed requirements.
Irving seemingly addressed the backlash against him with a tweet after Tsai’s recent remarks explaining why the Nets guard remains out.
“I was not put here on earth to participate in any religious/political wars or incite racial disharmony/prejudice within communities. We are all equal under the sun and I am here to participate in the building of an Equal world and follow the Word from the Most High/GOD/YAH.”Kyrie Irving via Twitter
The Nets have gone 4-2 without Irving, coinciding with the coaching change. Jacque Vaughn, who replaced Steve Nash, has the Nets playing with a league-best defensive rating.
But injuries and Irving’s absence put a strain on the lineup as the Nets faltered against the Los Angeles Lakers, who were without LeBron James, last Sunday.
Seth Curry and Ben Simmons missed the game due to load management, while Nic Claxton went out with an eye contusion early in the third quarter.
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