Kyrie Irving’s eight-game suspension was lifted Sunday, as the star point guard suited for the Brooklyn Nets match against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Irving had not played for the Nets since November 1st. Irving was suspended by the Nets on November 3, after he tweeted about a document containing antisemitic remarks. After that, he refused to apologize.
Irving has since apologized multiple times, including Sunday’s pregame media availability.
Irving stated Sunday that he wanted to express his deepest apologies for all those who were affected over the last few weeks, particularly my Jewish relatives and my Black relatives. “It feels like we all felt an effect and I don’t support hate speech, antisemitism, or any other form of ‘anti’ that goes against the human race.
Irving stated, “I felt it was necessary for myself to stand in that place and take responsibility for my actions.”
Irving was warmly welcomed by the Brooklyn crowd at player introductions prior to tip-off. In the Nets’ 127 to115 win over the Grizzlies, Irving finished the night with 14 points. He also had five rebounds.
Irving stated after the game that it was “good” to be back on court.
Irving said to reporters, “Missed my team,” “Missed my coaching staff. It felt great to be able to get ready with them in the morning, and carry that over to the game.
Irving was asked if he would file grievances over his suspension. He said that he would leave that decision up to his legal team.
Irving stated that he has strong men and women around him who will do whatever it takes to ensure that my family is protected, that we are protected, and that we protect each other. So I am certain that some things will be done in future. Irving said, “There is no timetable for that right now.”
Jacque Vaughn, Nets coach, expressed no hesitation in putting Irving on the court to begin the game.
“He will start, and we will see his conditioning, the pace at which he wants to play, and where he is at the moment. Vaughn stated that he was excited to see him back with the group and that he will fit right in.
Irving stated that he was emotionally reacting to being called “antisemitic” during a Saturday interview with Ian Begley of SNY.
Irving stated that she felt that Irving was protecting her character.
Next up for the Nets is Tuesday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers.