Ex Nets Star Sounds off on Kyrie Irving After Joe Tsai Extends Suspension

Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons

Getty Kyrie Irving (left), formerly of the Brooklyn Nets.

Last month, Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving shared the link to the film “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” which features anti-Semitic tropes. After he failed to apologize in a timely enough fashion, the Nets suspended Irving. They also required him to complete a list of tasks before returning. Per Shams Charania of “The Athletic” Those tasks include.

– Apologize/condemn the movie
– $500K donation to anti-hate causes
– Sensitivity training
– Antisemitic training
– Meet with ADL, Jewish leaders
– Meet with Joe Tsai to demonstrate an understanding

Irving’s initial suspension was supposed to last a minimum of five games. He missed his fifth game on Saturday when the Nets defeated the Los Angeles Clippers. After Nets owner Joe Tsai confirmed he had a meeting with Irving where he clarified he “does not have any beliefs of hate towards Jewish people or any group,” Nets fans were optimistic about Irving rejoining the team on November 13 against the Los Angeles Lakers. But Nets head coach Jacque Vaughan says Irving will not be available on Sunday.

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Stephon Marbury Sounds off on Kyrie’s Suspension

Kyrie’s suspension has earned him the support of the likes of LeBron James and Jaylen Brown, who believe the list of tasks Tsai and the Nets want him to complete is too much. The latest person to come to his defense is former New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks star Stephon Marbury, who calls Kyrie a “true leader”.

“I love the man he’s becoming. He’s a true leader and someone I want my son to look towards as a man leader and basketball player. He’s not down with the program cycle to make bread but in return, he’s trying to share bread to the hungry with knowledge and truth in who we are as black people,” Marbury said to Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of “Bally Sports”.

“He’s not perfect, but he’s trying. His heart is filled with nothing but love. He’s seeking truth. He’s not on wax talking about how much weight he sold to his own people or about how he wants to kill others. Sadly, the elderly and the so-called greats are not free and to be free is to have space on earth. He’s teaching a new generation how to live in mind body and soul.”

Nets Gave Irving Tasks in Hopes of ‘Outright Release’

The list of tasks required for Kyrie to return is extensive. And with his suspension now being made indefinite, it puts his potential return date to the starting lineup under an even finer microscope. Especially because the Nets have gone 4-1 in the five games he missed.

NBA insider Marc Stein says that there is a belief in various NBA circles that Tsai and the Nets constructed the list of tasks for Irving, hoping that he would not complete them, which would give them more leverage to release the star point guard.

“There is growing pessimism in various corners of the league that Kyrie Irving will ever play for the Nets again,” Stein wrote on November 7 via his Substack account.

“There is a feeling among some close to the process, I’m told, that the list was crafted with the knowledge that Irving would be unlikely to complete all six and thus could conceivably subject himself to potential outright release.”

With the Nets continuing to string together wins in Irving’s absence, it will be interesting to see how the team moves forward.