Kyrie Irving

Brooklyn has a precarious position and scandal is one of the pitfalls. Irving is more at risk for soft tissue and ligament injuries than his peers are. The Nets All-NBA point guard can be in violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Throwing gasoline into the bubble discussion at a time when the players were at risk of losing 100s of millions of dollars to partying maskless in the middle of the 2020 season during a COVID spike, missing half the season to avoid vaccinations, to buying into deranged anti-vax conspiracy,

Irving has a weakness in compliance and his no-apology apology two weeks ago was a disaster for him. Since then, Irving has fulfilled all the requirements the Nets organization had for him.

Irving denied deliberately spreading antisemitic content in an interview with Ian Begley. Irving looked like a person who regretted his actions. Nets brass confirmed Irving's reinstatement during a news conference on Sunday.

“I don’t stand for anything close to hate speech, or antisemitism, or anything that is anti going against the human race,” Irving said. “I feel like we all should have an opportunity to speak for ourselves when things are assumed about us. And I feel it was necessary for me to stand in this place and take accountability for my actions because there was a way I should have handled all of this.

“... I meant no harm to any person, any group of people. And yeah, this is a big moment for me because I’m able to learn throughout this process that the power of my voice is very strong. The influence that I have within my community is very strong. And I want to be responsible for that. In order to do that, we have to admit when you were wrong and instances where you hurt people and it impacts them.

Irving doesn't get a lot of points for this message about his voice. He referred to himself as a voice for the voiceless a year ago, after using his voice to advance vaccine denialism.

He appeared earnest and didn't resort to his cryptic brand of circular speaking to avoid direct answers while demonstrating the type of response a remorseful person gives.

“It should have been on the first day that I was dealing with all this of just being there for all those that felt like this was antisemitic,” Irving said. “And I should have clarified that I am not antisemitic and I am not anti-anything when it comes to the way I live my life. So the learning lesson for me was just the power of my platform and the impact that it can cause if it’s not taken care of the right way. So meeting with different people within the Jewish community has offered me some clarity on a deeper understanding of what’s going on and the impact that was made and the hurt that was caused.”

The Nets have been relatively calm since Irving was suspended. Brooklyn decided against lighting a match near a leaking gas pipe by passing on Ime Udoka in favor of removing the interim tag from a long time assistant.

This is a healing moment, but it also means that it is time to revive Irving's "(Blank) days since an incident" sign. Irving rejoins the Nets team that has been focused on basketball. Irving has obscured a lack of interest on the defensive side. When he is back in uniform, Irving should spend more of his energy getting defensive.

Out of 72 point guards who played at least 1,000 regular-season minutes, Irving was the 41st one.

The Nets have won five of eight since Irving was suspended. In contrast to Nash having guards attacking over screens while bigs defend pick-and-rolls in drop coverage to prevent layups or back cuts toward the rim, the Nets defense skews towards being more switch- heavy, with guards attacking over screens while bigs defend pick-and- He will get his first chance to fit in with the Nets on Sunday.

Irving was blowing off his coach's play calls. The Nets were 25th in assist-to-turnover ratio and 12th since November when Irving was suspended. The Nets scored an average of 112 points per 100 possessions during Irving's absence.

There are three things that Irving needs to do for the Nets to win a title. Irving can finally begin to rehabilitate his image by buying into the philosophy of Vaughn on both sides and avoiding the distraction that has plagued his stint in Brooklyn.