NBA

Irving apologises 'deeply' as Nets list him as questionable for Sunday NBA return

By Sports Desk November 19, 2022

Suspended Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving verbally apologised for his recent social media post for the first time on Saturday, saying he is "deeply" sorry to the Jewish community as a return to NBA ranks looms.

The Nets listed Irving, who has been out for eight games due to a team-imposed suspension for sharing a book and film with antisemitic tropes on social media, as "questionable" for Sunday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Irving said he has been on a "learning journey" as part of his suspension and reintegration into the Nets team.

The seven-time All-Star had previously apologised on social media after the suspension was imposed on him for the "harmful impact of his conduct". Prior to that, Irving had failed to apologise for sharing the post nor unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs on numerous occasions in the immediate days after that.

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

"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."

The fall-out for Irving has been significant. Not only was he suspended by his team, Nike announced they had severed relations with him after a decade-long relationship and were dropping his latest signature shoe, the Kyrie 8, from its catalogue.

Irving has met with several representatives from key communities, working with the Nets, the NBA and the NBPA to move towards remediation and a resolution. His meetings included with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who is Jewish.

"It was a learning journey to be honest with you," Irving said. "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.

"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 try to find a better perspective on how we live a more harmonious life. I'm a man who stands for peace. I don't condone any hate speech or any prejudice and I don't want to be in a position where I'm being misunderstood on where I stand in terms of antisemitism or any hate for that matter for anybody in this world."

Irving called his initial reaction as self-defense when he failed to unequivocally declare he was not antisemitic during a press conference, when offered numerous opportunities, leading to the team-imposed ban, which had been indefinite without pay but for a minimum of five games.

"I felt like I was protecting my character and I reacted out of just pure defense and just hurt that I could be labeled, or I thought that I was being labeled as antisemitic or anti-Jewish, and I've felt like that was just so disrespectful to ask me whether or not I was antisemitic or not," Irving said.

"Now to the outside world, that may have been seen as a simple 'yes' or 'no'. Which rightfully so, it should've been, 'No, I'm not antisemitic. No, I'm not anti-Jewish.' I'm a person who believes we should all have equal opportunities and that we should all shower each other with love, and that should be at the forefront.

"But it wasn’t in that initial conversation, and I take my accountability and I want to apologise for that, because it came off the wrong way completely."

Related items

  • Embiid remains buoyant on 76ers chances despite Knicks securing two-game lead Embiid remains buoyant on 76ers chances despite Knicks securing two-game lead

    The Philadelphia 76ers may be two games down in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-finals series but Joel Embiid thinks his struggling side will triumph.

    The second-seeded New York Knicks lead Philadelphia 2-0 after Monday's crucial 104-101 win after an impressive late comeback.

    Down 101-96 in the final minute, the Knicks scored the game's final eight points to further their lead in the series, which shifts to Philadelphia for Thursday's Game 3.

    Yet Embiid still insists the 76ers will progress in the East.

    "We're good," a confident Embiid declared. "We're going to win this series.

    "We are going to win this. We know what we have to fix. We did a better job today, so we are going to fix it.

    "We are the better team. We are going to keep fighting."

    A chaotic final 15 seconds proved decisive at Madison Square Garden as Donte DiVincenzo's go-ahead 3-pointer started a furious late rally that propelled the Knicks.

    Philadelphia coach Nick Nurse claimed the 76ers had been calling timeout as a frenzied finale played out.

    "Well, the first thing is obviously they score," Nurse said. "We take a look at getting it in quick. We don't get it in quick.

    "I call timeout. Referee looked right at me. Ignored me. Went into Tyrese [Maxey], I called timeout again. Then the melee started.

    "I guess I got to run out onto the floor or do something to make sure and get his attention, but I needed a timeout there to advance it.

    "Would've been good, but, couldn't get it."

    Embiid echoed his coach's sentiment, adding: "Everybody was trying to call a timeout on the floor, me included. Coach on the sideline. But they didn't give it to us.

    "But, forget about the timeout. There's a bunch of fouls. That's unacceptable."

    In stark contrast, the Knicks had a wholly different perspective on the ending.

    "We're down two, got to be as physical as we can be, try to get the steal," said Josh Hart. "And that's what we did."

  • Knicks, Nuggets, Cavs take 2-0 series leads Knicks, Nuggets, Cavs take 2-0 series leads

    Donte DiVincenzo's go-ahead 3-pointer with 13.1 seconds left highlighted a furious late rally that propelled the New York Knicks to a crucial 104-101 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in Monday's Game 2 of an Eastern Conference quarter-finals series. 

    Down 101-96 in the final minute, the second-seeded Knicks scored the game's final eight points to grab a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, which shifts to Philadelphia for Thursday's Game 3.

    DiVincenzo finished with 19 points and Jalen Brunson had 24 along with eight rebounds and six assists for New York, which also got a big effort from center Isaiah Hartenstein to overcome a 10-point deficit late in the first half.

    Hartenstein scored all 14 of his points in the second half on 7-of-7 shooting while helping the Knicks contain 76ers' star Joel Embiid. The reigning NBA MVP managed 34 points and 10 rebounds, but made good on just 12 of 29 field goal attempts and missed a potential tying 3-point try at the buzzer.

    Tyrese Maxey ended just shy of a triple-double for seventh-seeded Philadelphia, as he compiled 35 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.

    The Sixers trailed 90-82 early in the fourth quarter before outscoring New York 19-6 over a seven-minute stretch to pull ahead late. Maxey's jumper with 2:22 to go gave Philadelphia a 97-96 edge, and the All-Star buried a 3-pointer shortly afterward to extend the lead to four entering the final minute.

    Brunson gave New York some life with a 3-pointer with 27.4 seconds remaining to cut the lead to 101-99, and after Maxey turned it over on the ensuing possession, DiVincenzo knocked down a 26-footer on a second-chance attempt to send the Knicks in front.

    Maxey then couldn't get a contested layup to fall with 6.6 seconds left, and New York's OG Anunoby was fouled after grabbing the rebound before making both free throws ahead of Embiid's game-ending miss. 

    Nuggets rally from 20 points down to stun Lakers in Game 2

    The Denver Nuggets also took a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference series with the Los Angeles Lakers after overcoming a 20-point second-half deficit to rally for a stunning 101-99 win.

    Jamal Murray capped Denver's improbable comeback by hitting a game-winning 15-foot jumper with 0.4 seconds left on the clock.

    Murray scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half and Nikola Jokić had 15 points after half-time to also spark the defending NBA champions. Jokic ended the night with a 27-point, 20-rebound, 10-assist triple-double.

    Anthony Davis finished with 32 points and 11 rebounds for the seventh-seeded Lakers, who appeared on the verge of sending the series back to Los Angeles all tied up after opening up a 68–48 lead two minutes into the third quarter.

    Second-seeded Denver trailed 74-55 near the midway point of the third before getting back in it with a 10-0 run. The Nuggets later went on a 10-1 spurt to pull within 83-81 on Murray's layup with 6:45 remaining.

    Murray was later fouled with 57.6 seconds left and made both free throws to forge a 97-97 tie. LeBron James answered with a layup on the ensuing possession to put Los Angeles back ahead, but Murray sunk a step-back jumper with 30 seconds remaining to even the score once again.

    James then misfired on a 3-point try and the Nuggets secured the rebound before getting the ball to Murray, who knocked down the game-winner right before the buzzer sounded with Davis contesting the shot.

    James had 26 points and 12 rebounds, while D'Angelo Russell netted 23 points for the Lakers while going 7 of 11 from 3-point range.

    Game 3 will take place Thursday night.

    Cavaliers shut down Magic again to take 2-0 series lead

    Donovan Mitchell scored 23 points and Jarrett Allen led another strong defensive effort for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who took a 2-0 lead in their first-round series against the Orlando Magic by recording a 96-86 win.

    After holding the Magic under 33 per cent shooting in Saturday's series opener, fourth-seeded Cleveland forced 17 turnovers and limited No. 5 seed Orlando to a 36.2 per cent rate from the field to move within two wins of advancing.

    Allen particularly made his presence felt by corralling 20 rebounds along with three blocks and two steals. The standout center also contributed 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting.

    Evan Mobley added 17 points and Darius Garland had 15 in a game the Cavaliers never trailed while taking control early by building a 30-18 lead after one quarter.

    Cleveland's margin grew as high as 17 points in the second quarter as the Magic continued to struggle to score, and Mitchell registered 19 of his points in the first half to help send the Cavs into the break owning a 58-44 advantage.

    Orlando never seriously threatened in the second half and will now attempt to reverse momentum when it returns home to host Game 3 on Thursday. 

    Paolo Banchero led the Magic with 21 points and Franz Wagner had 18 for Orlando, though all but one of those points came during the first half.

     

  • Nets hire former Kings assistant Fernandez as coach Nets hire former Kings assistant Fernandez as coach

    The Brooklyn Nets have a new man in charge, hiring Jordi Fernandez as the 24th coach in franchise history on Monday.

    Fernandez spent the last two seasons as the associate head coach of the Sacramento Kings, helping lead them to the Pacific Division title and the third seed in the Western Conference a year ago for the franchise's first play-off berth since 2006.

    The Kings finished ninth in the West this season, and went 94-70 in Fernandez's two seasons on the Sacramento staff.

    The Nets ended up going 32-50 this season to miss the play-offs for the first time since 2018. They fired Jacque Vaughn at the All-Star break, and Kevin Ollie finished out the season as the interim coach.

     

    A native of Badalona, Spain, Fernandez also coaches Canada's men's national team. He helped Canada to a bronze medal in last year's FIBA Basketball World Cup with a win over Team USA in the third-place game.

    "We're thrilled to announce Jordi Fernández as Brooklyn's new head coach," said Nets general manager Sean Marks in a statement. "As we progressed through an extensive search over the past six weeks, it became increasingly clear that Jordi is the best coach to lead our team forward. Jordi brings a diverse set of experiences and basketball knowledge gained over the course of a coaching career that has taken him around the world. Each step of the way, Jordi has consistently demonstrated the ability to implement strong processes and creative systems designed to optimise each team's specific roster."

    Prior to his stop in Sacramento, Fernandez was an assistant coach for the Denver Nuggets for six seasons, during which the team made the play-offs four times.

    In addition to coaching Canada's team, Fernandez has other experience coaching on the global stage, serving as the lead assistant for the Nigerian national team at the 2020 Olympics. He also worked on the staff for the Spanish national team at EuroBasket 2017 and the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championships.

    "My family and I are thrilled to join such an incredible organisation and become part of the vibrant Brooklyn community," Fernandez said. "I am eager to get to work with this talented group of players and collectively drive our team forward. Together, we will be fully committed to building something special for Nets fans and the borough to be proud of for years to come."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.