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#pounditWednesday, February 1, 2023

Articles tagged: Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving suspended by Nets at least 5 games without pay

Kyrie Irving in warmups

Jan 15, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) stands for the anthem before a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets have taken big action against Kyrie Irving.

The Nets on Thursday announced that they have suspended Irving for five games without pay. Their detailed statement explains exactly why they did not suspend Irving until now.

“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 team said.

“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.

“Such failure to disavow antisemitism when given a clear opportunity to do so is deeply disturbing, is against the values of our organization, and constititutes conduct detrimental to the team. Accordingly, we are of the view that he is currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets. We have decided that Kyrie will serve a suspension without pay until he satisfies a series of objective remedial measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct and the suspension period served is no less than five games.”

The truth is Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai never wanted to have Irving back this season. If it weren’t for a player option in his contract, Irving wouldn’t have been back with the team.

Now he has given them reason to send him away from the team for a bit of time, and it’s due to his promotion of a movie that includes antisemitism, and his subsequent response.

What’s interesting is that based on the language of the team’s statement, the suspension could last longer than five games. Tsai would probably love to keep Irving away from the team for as long as possible. On top of his behavior off the court, Irving also reportedly ignored his coach on the court.

Kyrie Irving was completely ignoring Steve Nash towards end of Nash’s tenure?

Kyrie Irving in a jersey

Apr 25, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts during the second quarter of game four of the first round of the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving is about to have the eighth head coach of his NBA career, and that may not be a coincidence.

Veteran NBA writer Marc Stein shared a troubling anecdote about Irving and former Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash in a post to his Substack page this week. Having spoken with one NBA team’s advanced scouts, a group with extensive knowledge of opponents’ playcalls, Stein writes that there were about ten “easy-to-spot” instances during one of Nash’s last games as Nets head coach of Irving running a completely different play than the one that Nash called for from the sideline.

You can read Stein’s full reporting on the situation with Nash, who was fired by the Nets earlier this week, here.

Nash was in his third year coaching Irving and the Nets, going 94-67 (.584) with one playoff series win. But it was clear that Irving never respected Nash from the very start. Shortly after Nash was hired, Irving infamously said that “I don’t really see us having a head coach,” adding that both himself and teammate Kevin Durant could be head coaches on certain days.

A report also emerged a few months ago that Irving had supposedly pulled a disrespectful move on Nash at practices last year. Now Irving and Nash no longer have to deal with each other. But Brooklyn’s next coach may come with his own new set of issues.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver critical of Kyrie Irving in statement

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

Kyrie Irving has yet to issue a clear apology after he supported a movie that contains antisemitic messages, and NBA commissioner Adam Silver is not happy with the Brooklyn Nets star.

Irving last week tweeted a link to the movie “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake up Black America.” Rolling Stone wrote an article outlining all the different ways the movie, which is based on a book, espouses false and damaging narratives about Jews. The book/film accuses Jews of being responsible for the black slave trade, among other lies. Nets owner Joe Tsai said he was disappointed in Irving, and the seven-time All-Star responded by insisting he meant “no disrespect to anyone’s religious beliefs.”

Then on Wednesday evening, Irving, the Nets and the Anti-Defamation League issued a joint statement and pledged a total of $1 million to “causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate in out communities.” Irving said in the statement that he is “learning from all walks of life and I intend to do so with an open mind and a willingness to listen.”

What the statement did not include is an actual apology. Silver took note of that and said on Thursday that he plans to meet with Irving about the issue.

“… I am disappointed that he has not offered an unqualified apology and more specifically denounced the vile and harmful content contained in the film he chose to publicize,” Silver said as part of his strongly worded statement.

Irving is an expert at pointing the finger and criticizing others, so it is hardly a surprise that he has stopped short of holding himself fully accountable. Charles Barkley and other prominent members of the NBA community have expressed disappointment that Irving was not suspended. Silver is obviously trying to show that he is taking the situation seriously.

Kyrie Irving addresses his support of antisemitic movie

Kyrie Irving in a jersey

Apr 25, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts during the second quarter of game four of the first round of the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving on Saturday addressed his support of a movie that contains antisemitic messages, pleading ignorance.

On Thursday, Irving tweeted a link to the movie “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake up Black America.”

Rolling Stone wrote an article outlining all the different ways the movie, which is based on a book, espouses false and damaging narratives about Jews. The book and film accuses Jews of being responsible for the black slave trade, among other lies.

A day after Irving promoted the documentary that shares antisemitic views, Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai called out the point guard via Twitter.

“I’m disappointed that Kyrie appears to support a film based on a book full of anti-semitic disinformation. I want to sit down and make sure he understands this is hurtful to all of us, and as a man of faith, it is wrong to promote hate based on race, ethnicity or religion,” Tsai wrote on Twitter.

Irving responded via Twitter Saturday to all the negative attention he was receiving.

“I am an OMNIST and I meant no disrespect to anyone’s religious beliefs. The ‘Anti-Semitic’ label that is being pushed on me is not justified and does not reflect the reality or truth I live in everyday. I embrace and want to learn from all walks of life and religions,” Irving wrote.

The book/movie Irving promoted falls in line with the rise of extreme Black Hebrew Israelite thinking, which was also represented with some of the views Kanye West recently espoused. This line of thinking, such as views that Jewish people control banking or the media, is the same type of thinking that led Jews to be scapegoated by the Nazi Germany regime. This type of thinking can lead to hate crimes, and in extreme cases, it can result in horrible extermination efforts as seen in the Holocaust.

Viral video shows Kyrie Irving yelling at Ben Simmons to shoot

Kyrie Irving gesturing

The Ben Simmons experience in Brooklyn is going exactly how we all thought it would.

Video went viral from Wednesday’s game between the Nets and Milwaukee Bucks of Brooklyn guard Kyrie Irving screaming for his teammate Simmons to shoot the ball. During a transition opportunity early in the third quarter, Irving dumped the ball off to Simmons, who was trailing and had a chance for a layup. Instead though, Simmons kicked it back out to Kevin Durant at the top of the arc.

Irving could be heard yelling at Simmons to “Shoot it, Ben!” Take a look.

Simmons probably made the correct basketball play here since there were multiple defenders in the paint, and Durant was all by himself at the three-point line (Durant ended up driving in and cashing on a midrange jumper). But Irving and the rest of the Nets obviously want Simmons to adopt a more aggressive mindset.

The former No. 1 pick Simmons has been out of sorts to start his Brooklyn career. Entering play Wednesday, he had more personal fouls on the season (14) than shot attempts (13). Simmons, who is averaging just 5.7 points per game so far as a result, has also attempted just one lone three (missing it).

Over the summer, Simmons said that he would shoot the ball more often this season. As Irving can attest to though, that has yet to come to fruition.

Kyrie Irving had message for Ben Simmons after Nets’ loss

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

The 2022-23 Brooklyn Nets have played just one game together, and Kyrie Irving is already sharing words of wisdom with Ben Simmons.

Simmons made his regular-season debut with the Nets in a game where they were crushed by the New Orleans Pelicans at home. The former No. 1 overall pick scored 4 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in the 130-108 loss. His most impressive feat was managing to foul out despite playing just 23 minutes.

Irving was asked after the game about Simmons fouling out. He made sure to tell reporters that he scolded his teammate.

The Nets are the type of team that almost everyone is going to root against. Irving and Simmons are two of the most disliked players in the NBA, and Kevin Durant has plenty of detractors as well. Even fans in Brooklyn seemed disgusted with their own team before the season began.

It is unclear how receptive Simmons is going to be to Irving’s so-called “leadership,” but that is one of many storylines to watch as the Nets try to embrace their us-against-the-world mentality.

Kyrie Irving makes bold prediction about NBA season

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

Kyrie Irving is calling his shot (no pun intended) early.

The Brooklyn Nets guard spoke with reporters on Tuesday and all but outright predicted a championship for Brooklyn this season.

It all started when Irving was asked what a championship would mean for the Nets franchise.

“I’ll have an answer for you in about six-to-nine months,” replied the seven-time All-Star, per Matt Brooks of Nets Daily.

Of course, the Nets have an Everest-esque uphill climb to make good on Irving’s prediction. Their star trio of Kevin Durant (who played 55 games last season), Irving (who played 29), and Ben Simmons (who played zero) still has a concerning lack of chemistry. Brooklyn also lost multiple key role players from last year’s team including Bruce Brown and LaMarcus Aldridge (though TJ Warren, Royce O’Neale, and Markieff Morris were among those who arrived).

Nevertheless, this is exactly the kind of sentiment that Irving should have entering the new NBA season. Granted, the fans in Brooklyn do not quite seem to share Irving’s confidence right now.

Video of unfortunate moment between Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons goes viral

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

Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons clearly still need some time to adjust to each other as teammates.

Video went viral this week of a rather unfortunate moment the two Brooklyn Nets stars had prior to Monday’s preseason contest against the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons badly missed a shot attempt in warm-ups, and the ensuing carom struck an unsuspecting Irving in the head and face area. Take a look.

Ouch, hopefully Irving was covered there by brick insurance.

Monday’s game marked the very first time Irving and Simmons had gotten any sort of run on the court together. The former missed more than half of the NBA season last year because of his vaccination status, and the latter missed the entire season due to back and mental health issues.

Regardless though of having his skull potentially dented by Simmons’ errant miss, Irving still sounds pretty excited about playing alongside his fellow ex-No. 1 overall pick.

Kyrie Irving has bullish take on Ben Simmons

Kyrie Irving in warmups

Jan 15, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) stands for the anthem before a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving thinks Ben Simmons is in the perfect environment to revive his career with the Brooklyn Nets.

Irving sounded off on Simmons on Thursday, arguing that the environment in Brooklyn will be better for the former No. 1 pick and will help him play at a high level again. Irving cited his own mental health experiences and suggested Simmons could benefit the same way.

“It means everything,” Irving said, via Nick Friedell of ESPN. “It means they come in with a peace of mind. And they just enjoy the game of basketball. It’s a profession for sure, I don’t want to knock that, it’s a seriousness about it, but building team camaraderie takes that ability to go through some uncomfortable moments and you got to be balanced mentally, spiritually, emotionally, be able to handle things like that. So I definitely have first-hand experience, I don’t want to make mental health a trend.

“In actuality, it’s one of the most important things that you need out here to be great in anything you do. We all are supportive, we all go through our own things, but we can understand and meet him where he’s at and just have him enjoy the game. Rather than make it feel like it’s something he’s forced to come to at all. So I feel good.”

Simmons’ mental health was certainly a major issue in 2021-22. He never played for the 76ers citing mental health issues, which helped prompt his trade to Brooklyn. Simmons became a widely-criticized figure in Philadelphia, which did not help matters.

Simmons does sound confident, so perhaps Irving is onto something here. The big question will be how everyone reacts if and when Simmons struggles or faces some of his previous issues again.

Kyrie Irving has message for his former team Celtics

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

Kyrie Irving is putting his former NBA team on notice.

Appearing on a Twitch stream this week, the Brooklyn Nets guard Irving spoke on being swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs last year. Irving called it “a humbling experience” but cautioned Boston that they would be seeing the Nets again.

“It was meant to happen like that,” said Irving. “Motivation, bro. We needed that humbling experience, especially going against the Celtics. It was already built in to be that matchup.

“We gonna see ’em again,” Irving added. “We gonna have to. They gonna be where they gonna be. But those young-uns over there in Boston, bro, I got to see them grow up. So to see them doing what they did last year, on the Finals stage, making it that far, I’m glad they had to go through us.”

Here is the video (but beware that it has bad language).

The seven-time All-Star Irving played in Boston for two seasons from 2017 to 2019 but left for the Nets in free agency on icy terms. Last season’s playoff matchup against the Celtics was his first postseason meeting with his former team since departing. The series proved to be extremely hostile, as Irving had multiple obscene moments with the Boston crowd. The Celtics won 4-0 though and eventually advanced to their first NBA Finals in over a decade.

Irving will now be running it back with Kevin Durant in Brooklyn for at least one more year, and they will be flanked by new additions TJ Warren, Royce O’Neale, and Markieff Morris (plus hopefully Ben Simmons, who still has yet to play a game for the Nets). With that core, Irving is feeling confident about their chances of getting another stab at the Celtics next postseason.