NBA Insider Reveals How Close Nets Got to Waiving Kyrie Irving & Why They Didn’t: Report

Kyrie Irving

Getty Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets looks on from the bench during the second quarter of the game against the Chicago Bulls

Kyrie Irving had sit-downs with both the NBA Commissioner and Brooklyn Nets governors Joe and Clara Wu Tsai this week, and both made statements on November 11 to state that from their conversation with Irving, they do not believe him to be antisemitic, but remained clear that his sharing of the documentary containing antisemitic ideals was both hurtful and harmful to a lot of people. 

“He’s someone I’ve known for a decade, and I’ve never heard an antisemitic word from him or, frankly, hate directed at any group,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said per ESPN. “Whether or not he is antisemitic is not relevant to the damage caused by the posting of hateful content.”

“Clara and I met with Kyrie and his family yesterday. We spent quality time to understand each other and it’s clear to me that Kyrie does not have any beliefs of hate towards Jewish people or any group,” Nets governor Joe Tsai tweeted. “The Nets and Kyrie, together with the NBA and NBPA, are working constructively toward a process of forgiveness, healing and education.”

Tsai and Nets Considered Cutting Kyrie Irving

While these are the statements being put out on November 11 by Tsai and the Nets, this could have gone in another direction. On a November 9, appearance on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stu Gotz, Rolling Stone writer and author of Can’t Knock the Hustle: Inside the Season of Protest, Pandemic, and Progress with the Brooklyn Nets’ Superstars of Tomorrow, shared that he heard from sources that after watching the documentary that was shared to Kyrie’s social accounts, they considered releasing their All-Star point guard. 

“I was told that the Tsai’s (Joe and Clara) watched this entire – an entirely vile documentary on their couch two weekends ago and that they thought about potentially cutting Kyrie. This is even though the lying GM of the Nets Sean Marks, said last week that the team never considered it. But I was told that the Tsai’s kind of realized that they’d be making a martyr, as you guys have discussed, out of a stubborn fool. So maybe those conditions to return are a way to kind of be able to release him without Kyrie taking the money and martyrdom with him,” Sullivan said

Sullivan gained unique access to the Nets organization in the writing of his revealing book detailing an entire season of behind-the-scenes insight to the Nets organization. Because of his ties, he was able to find how close the Nets got to releasing Irving in the midst of his most recent controversy. 

Previous Sullivan Reporting on the Nets Being Scared of Irving and Durant

The recent intel from Sullivan is the culmination of some of the missteps that the Nets organization has made navigating their superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant and how much power they give them. When discussing some of his observation in the writing of his book, Sullivan went as far as to say that the Nets organization were ‘scared’ of both Irving and Durant. 

“I just remember not being able to talk to the management, talk to the coaches, talk to anyone without them being kind of scared of these guys. Including Kenny Atkinson, who built this whole program up,” Sullivan said in an interview on the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz. “He’s kinda saying, ‘Let’s leave KD, the Maserati, in the case, and let Kyrie be Kyrie.’ But Kyrie goes behind his back and gets him fired. Kenny Atkinson is left wondering if he should fly halfway across the country and have a talk with this guy.”


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