Star point guard Kyrie Irving is set to return and discussed his journey toward reinstatement with Ian Begley of SNY.tv.
“It was a lot of hurt that needed to be healed, a lot of conversations that needed to be had and a lot of reflection,” Irving told Begley. “And I got a chance to do that with some great people from the Jewish community, from the Black community, from the white community. I’ve had so many conversations with all of our races and cultures and religious groups of people, just trying to better find a perspective on how we live a more harmonious life.”
Irving was suspended by the team for sharing a link to antisemitic material available on Amazon.
“I just think I really want to focus on the hurt that I caused or the impact that I made within the Jewish community, putting some type of threat, or assumed threat, on the Jewish community,” he told Begley. “I just want to apologize deeply for all of my actions during the time that it’s been since the post was first put up. I’ve had a lot of time to think, but my focus, initially, if I could do it over, would be to heal and repair a lot of my close relationships with my Jewish relatives, brothers and sisters.”
Since Irving last played, the Nets fired coach Steve Nash, named Jacque Vaughn interim coach, then hired Vaughn on a full-time basis.
- The Nets announced that Irving will play Sunday. “Kyrie took ownership of his journey and had conversations with several members of the Jewish community,” a team statement read, via Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “We are pleased that he is going about the process in a meaningful way.”
Guard/forward Evan Fournier has fallen out of the rotation but said he’s not looking to be traded, via Melvin Karsenti of Basket USA, via HoopsHype.
“I’m not thinking about (a trade) yet. In 82 games, a lot of things can change,” Fourner said. “I hope it won’t be the case but there could be injuries, there could be a transfer. You never know what can happen. And to be totally genuine, my wife who is pregnant and due in February, so transferring now means I won’t see my family for several months, I won’t see my new son. I’m at a stage in my career where that’s hard, and I don’t necessarily want to go through that… So it’s a complicated situation, also on the family level. So let’s be patient for now and we’ll see.”
Fournier added that he is trying to stay positive despite the benching.
“I’m not happy but what can I do? I can’t do much really,” he said. “So I stay professional, I do what I have to do, and I try to be ready, and that’s it. We stay patient.”
- The undermanned Raptors have three days off and coach Nick Nurse told reporters he hopes it will give the team a little time to heal.
- Forward Pascal Siakam (right adductor strain), forward/center Precious Achiuwa (right ankle sprain), point guard Dalano Banton (left ankle sprain), power forward Chris Boucher (illness), shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. (illness) and small forward Otto Porter Jr. (toe dislocation) all didn’t make the trip to Atlanta on Saturday.
- Forward Thaddeus Young to reporters on all the injuries: “It’s a little hard, but it’s nothing we can’t withstand. … We just have to make sure we execute down the stretch.”
Looking for the latest NBA Insider News & Rumors?
Be sure to follow Hoops Wire on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NBA News and Rumors for all 32 teams!