Kyrie Irving Available to Play vs. Grizzlies Following Nets Suspension

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVNovember 20, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 31: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets looks on during a break in the action during the first quarter of the game against the Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center on October 31, 2022 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is available to play Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies.

This would be his first game back since the team suspended him for promoting an antisemitic film on social media.

"Kyrie took ownership of his journey and had conversations with several members of the Jewish community," the Nets said. "We are pleased that he is going about the process in a meaningful way."

Irving drew widespread condemnation for not only promoting the movie but also failing to offer an apology when presented with multiple opportunities to do so.

ESPN's Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski reported Nets governor Joe Tsai initially resisted overtures to issue a suspension but relented after the seven-time All-Star refused to condemn the content presented in the film.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium presented the conditions Irving needed to meet in order to suit up again:

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

Sources: Nets have delivered Kyrie Irving six items he must complete to return to team: <br><br>- Apologize/condemn movie<br>- $500K donation to anti-hate causes<br>- Sensitivity training<br>- Antisemitic training<br>- Meet with ADL, Jewish leaders<br>- Meet with Joe Tsai to demonstrate understanding

After the suspension came down, Irving made a direct apology on Instagram.

"To All Jewish families and Communities that are hurt and affected from my post, I am deeply sorry to have caused you pain, and I apologize," he said. "... I want to clarify any confusion on where I stand fighting against Anti- semticism by apologizing for posting the documentary without context and a factual explanation outlining the specific beliefs in the Documentary I agreed with and disagreed with."

The 30-year-old also gave an interview to SNY's Ian Begley on Saturday, explaining he's "not antisemitic" and "not anti-Jewish or any of that."

"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, I just want to apologize deeply for all my actions throughout the time that it's been since the post was first put up," Irving said.

Irving has missed Brooklyn's last eight games, with the team going 5-3 over that span. The Nets are 7-9 overall and sit 10th in the Eastern Conference.

Drama on and off the court has been a consistent theme for the franchise over the last few years, and this season is no exception.

In addition to Irving's suspension, the Nets fired head coach Steve Nash and named Jacque Vaughn as Nash's permanent replacement after abandoning their pursuit of Ime Udoka. Kevin Durant gave an interview with Bleacher Report's Chris Haynes in which he spoke candidly on the state of his supporting cast. And Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic detailed some of the internal frustration toward Ben Simmons' perceived level of commitment.

Irving's return makes Brooklyn stronger on the court, but it might be only a matter of time before the organization is facing another crisis.