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#pounditSaturday, January 28, 2023

Nets owner ‘completely done’ with Kyrie Irving?

Kyrie Irving looks on during a game

Mar 15, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, the Brooklyn Nets announced that Kyrie Irving had been suspended at least five games without pay. That decision was reached following Irving’s promotion of a film the Nets say is “deeply disturbing antisemitic hate.” They offered further explanation in a lengthy statement.

“Over the last several days, we have made repeated attempts to work with Kyrie Irving to help him understand the harm and danger of his words and actions, which began with him publicizing a film containing deeply disturbing antisemitic hate. We believed that taking the path of education in this challenging situation would be the right one and thought that we had made progress with our joint commitment to eradicating hate and intolerance,” the statement read, in part.

“We were dismayed today, when given an opportunity in a media session, that Kyrie refused to unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film. This was not the first time he had the opportunity – but failed – to clarify.”

Nets general manager Sean Marks later said that Irving’s suspension would only be lifted after not just an apology — which Irving made — but meetings with Jewish leaders.

Even if those meetings were to occur, it may not be enough.

During ESPN show “First Take” on Friday, Stephen A. Smith reported that Nets owner Joe Tsai is “completely done” with Irving.

Irving has long been a distraction for the Nets due to some of his personal beliefs, including theories about flat Earth and COVID-19 vaccinations. But promotion of an antisemitic film may have put Tsai over the edge.

If not for a player option, Irving would already be out of Brooklyn. And following this latest round of issues, it’s hard to imagine he’ll ever put a Nets uniform on again.

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