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Suspended Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving has met with team, league and union officials on “several occasions” in recent days and there’s optimism for a resolution “very soon,” the National Basketball Players Association told its membership Friday in an email obtained by ESPN.
Even with the fifth of a minimum five-game suspension coming Saturday night against the LA Clippers, there is no momentum for a possible return to play for Irving during this four-game Western Conference trip that ends Thursday at Portland, sources told ESPN.
The Nets return home vs. Memphis on Nov. 20.
Nets owner Joe Tsai and his wife, Clara, on Thursday met with Irving, who was suspended for a minimum of five games for his initial failure to condemn and apologize for antisemitic material shared to his social media.
“It’s clear to me that Kyrie does not have any beliefs of hate toward Jewish people or any group,” Tsai posted to Twitter on Friday.
Irving is expected to engage with a number of constituencies — including meeting with leaders in the Jewish community — and make good-faith efforts to show the Nets and NBA of his sincerity before he’s cleared for a return to play.
Irving, who met with NBA commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday, is serving a term as a vice president in the NBPA.
In the NBPA memo, the union maintains that “Kyrie’s rights, and the rights of all future players, have been protected at every turn,” and added, that the union “look(s) forward very soon to a resolution of all matters satisfactory to all parties.” The NBPA described the recent meetings as an “effort to deepen understanding and open clear lines of communication among all parties.”
The NBPA reiterated in the memo that Irving and the union “unequivocally condemn antisemitism and all other forms of hate.”
The NBPA sent an email to players a week ago urging patience with the process surrounding Irving, and said in Friday’s email that “we believe the careful pause and reflection have started to pay off.”