Nets have no updates on situation with Kyrie Irving

Nets Kyrie Irving
Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving speaks before the team’s NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022, in New York.
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

It’s not a stretch to say that Kyrie Irving and the Nets’ relationship is fractured. Even as there appeared to be some pathway back for Irving, communication has been limited between general manager Sean Marks and one of the team’s star players. 

In fact, Irving hadn’t and Marks hadn’t had direct communication with one another since a minimum five-game suspension was handed down to Irving for his refusal to apologize unequivocally for posting a film filled with antisemitic rhetoric. During a media availability on Wednesday, Marks didn’t provide any updates on Irving’s status with the team. 

“On the Kyrie front when we have news to share and updates, we will do so at the appropriate time. As of now there’s nothing to share,” Marks said. 

He did say when questioned that he had been in contact with Irving’s representatives, but when asked why he hadn’t spoken to the Nets star directly Marks reiterated his initial statement on the matter. 

New Nets coach Jacque Vaughn has also not had direct contact with Irving, presumably since the Nets hosted the Chicago Bulls on Nov. 1. Vaughn told reporters that he didn’t feel that it had been his place to speak with Irving as an assistant coach. 

Vaughn shed the interim tag on Wednesday after he was named the new head coach of the team a little more than a week after Brooklyn parted ways with Steve Nash. 

“I hadn’t talked to Kai and I still haven’t. I thought in the capacity that I was serving that it wasn’t my place to. I’ve always understood my boundaries as an assistant coach and that could change going forward in the position that I’m in now.” 

Irving’s situation has continued to be a cloud hanging over the Nets season since he shared an Amazon link to the film “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America.” Irving held firm to his convictions during two separate media sessions in which he expressed he had a right to post what he wanted. 

He has received significant backlash, which eventually saw Nike suspend its partnership with him and the Nets ultimately suspend him for at least five games. Irving did eventually put out an apology on his social media platforms following the suspension. 

However, even as the Nets have pushed forward on the court the aura of the situation has hung around. On Wednesday outside of Barclays Center, members of a Black Hebrew Israelite group protested Irving’s suspension. 

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And Nike co-founder Phil Knight told CNBC on Thursday that he doubted that the company would go back to working with Irving, but added “I don’t know for sure.” 

“Kyrie stepped over the line,” Knight said. “It’s kind of that simple. He made some statements that we just can’t abide by and that’s why we ended the relationship. And I was fine with that.”

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