A suspended star guard Kyrie Irving The process needed to return to action is being completed and Sunday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Barclays Center could be rescheduled, as would the Brooklyn Nets, sources told ESPN.
Irving will miss his eighth straight game Thursday night in Portland, but sources said his suspension is nearing its end after nearly two weeks.
“Kyrie continues his journey of dialogue and education,” National Basketball Players Association executive director Tamika Tremaglio told ESPN on Wednesday night. Kyrie rejects anti-Semitism in any form and is determined to improve himself and raise his level of understanding. He plans to continue this journey. To ensure that his words and actions in the future are consistent with the pursuit of truth and knowledge.
Tremaglio and his alliance are working closely with Irving, the Nets and the NBA to help him draft his own solutions to end the ban, sources said. What may have started as a rigid list of prerequisites turned into Irving himself taking ownership of the process, which is exactly what the Nets and the league thought would happen, sources said.
Irving is serving at least a five-game suspension for not initially apologizing and condemning his social media connection to the film with anti-Semitic content.
Irving’s apology — posted on his Instagram account hours after the suspension was announced on Nov. 4 — followed two news conferences and a public statement with the Nets that did not include an apology or condemnation.
Irving has met privately with Nets owner Joe Tsai and commissioner Adam Silver, and both have publicly said they do not believe Irving is anti-Semitic.
During the suspension, the Nets issued a statement saying, “Rejecting anti-Semitism when given a clear opportunity to do so is deeply troubling, an act that goes against our company’s values and harms the team.”
In a memo sent to NBPA members on Friday, the union told NBA players that “Kyrie’s rights and the rights of all future players are protected at all costs,” and said the union is looking forward to the future. To resolve all issues soon to the satisfaction of all parties.
The NBPA described the recent meetings as “an effort to strengthen understanding and open clear lines of communication among all parties.”
The Nets are 4-3 without Irving, including a 153-121 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night. Brooklyn is 6-9 overall, 5.5 games behind first-place Boston in the Eastern Conference standings.
Irving, 30, is averaging 26.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists this season.