Nets suspend Kyrie Irving at least 5 games for 'failure to disavow antisemitism' (2:38)

The Nets decided to suspend Irving. There is a time and a place for it.

10:00 PM AST

The pleas had grown into a crescendo for Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai. The most important and invested voices in his circle, including NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Nets general manager Sean Marks, believed that Irving's refusal to condemn the contents of an antisemitic film he shared on his social media had left the Nets out in the cold.

Sources said that Tsai had resisted and insisted on taking time to educate Irving on the horrors of antisemitism. The full 312 hours of the movie "Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America" was watched by the counsel of the Anti-Defamation League.

According to sources, the owner felt that Irving's betrayal of good faith had become a repetitive exercise in the redemption of his star. Sources said that for nearly a week, Tsai kept extending the clock to give Irving a chance to get this right for himself, the franchise and the Jewish community. When asked if he held antisemitic beliefs, Irving showed no inclination to deliver an apology, nor a disassociation of the movie's contents.

The Brooklyn Nets suspended Irving for five games without pay on Thursday, deeming him unsuitable to be associated with the team.

There were many questions surrounding the most troubling week in the troubled tenure of Irving and the Nets, but one remained: Why did it take so long to get there? There was a hope that there would be a two-way conversation with Irving.

On Friday night, Tsai issued a statement saying he was "disappointed that Kyrie appears to support a film based on a book full of antisemitic misinformation," and described his desire to "sit down and make sure he understands this is harmful to all of us, and as a man

Nets leadership and the commissioner's office called for a suspension after a combative news conference in which Irving refused to stand down. Embarrassment grew for the franchise and league. The news conference depicted a familiar Irving, defiant, undeterred and crusading with misinformation.

Irving said that he would get stronger because he was not alone. I have a lot of people around me.

The echoes of Irving's anti-science stance were stirred by this. The Nets were unwilling to guarantee a long-term contract for Irving, leaving him in the final season of his deal.

This time, the failed negotiations had spilled into a much more destructive matter. Sources say that the franchise's communication with Irving was done through his agent and stepmother. There was no direct dialogue with Irving, despite the fact that Tsai wanted time and space to work with him. Sources said that Silver warned that issuing a joint statement with the ADL without dealing with Irving directly, or including a condemnation of the movie's material, was simply not acceptable.


Kevin said that the backlash from the social media posts centered on an antisemitic book and movie.

The Nets and Irving publicly pledged $500,000 each to the ADL for the purpose of fighting antisemitism, only to have ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt publicly declare hours later that the group would no longer accept the donation after Irving's "deb"

Sources said that Silver's patience had ended on Thursday morning. The humiliation of the Nets had turned into a crisis for the league. Irving failed to offer an unqualified apology and more specifically denounce the vile and harmful content contained in the film he chose to promote, according to Silver.

Irving had become a problem for his teammates. His teammates and opponents privately described him as disengaged and seemingly "in another world" after he played a listless game in a loss to the Bulls. Irving didn't make a basket until the fourth quarter, even though he averages 30 points and shoots almost every chance he gets. Sources said that he had been distant to everyone in recent days.

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Irving refused to apologize or condemn the film before the Nets left for a weekend trip to play the Wizards and Hornets. Irving said he couldn't be antisemitic if he knew where he came from.

That was the end for Tsai. It's time to say no more. Sources said that Irving had been insincere in his ADL statement hours earlier. Tsai's faith in Irving proved once more to have been misguided and disastrous for his franchise as the efforts to educate failed miserably.

How long of a suspension for Irving is the only question left for the Nets and their owner. The Nets landed on five games without pay and a requirement to complete a series of objective measures that address the harmful impact of his conduct after hours of conferring with lawyers.

The conditions for Irving's return included a public statement acknowledging the film is antisemitic, an apology for supporting the film, and training sessions on the dangers of hate speech, according to sources. Marks told reporters that there would be meetings with Brooklyn Jewish leaders.

Four hours after learning of his suspension, Irving issued a statement on hisInstagram page that went further than he had previously done.

Irving apologized to all Jewish families and communities that were hurt by his post.

I initially reacted out of emotion to being labeled Antisemitic, instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish Brothers and Sisters that were hurt from the film.

Marks said the apology was a step in the right direction but not enough.


Nets GM Sean Marks explains the steps that led to the suspension of Irving after he failed to apologize for his controversial social media posts.

The Nets are in a state of disrepair. The team has lost six of their first eight games. The Nets are still vetting the hiring of suspended Celtics coach Ime Udoka, despite the fact that Ben Simmons is out with a knee injury.

The future of Irving is tied to Kevin Durant. Irving's trade value has plummeted if it was low this summer. The Nets did not need a trade partner willing to give Irving a long-term deal to execute a trade over the summer. He's on a contract that expires at the end of the season, so a team isn't going to give him money after this season.

The two players arrived in Brooklyn four years ago. Over the summer, the partnership almost fell apart. When talking to reporters on Friday morning, he didn't say much about Irving or the organization. He felt that it was unnecessary.

There is a question looming over the franchise, who is the last man standing for Irving?