Joe Tsai says Kyrie Irving needs to “show people he’s sorry” before returning to the Nets

Kyrie Irving met with Nets owners Joe and Clara Tsai on Thursday, and while that meeting was reportedly productive, there doesn’t appear to be any push toward a return during Brooklyn’s upcoming four-game road trip, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Irving’s suspension will last at least five games, but there is no set end point. The Nets gave Irving the following list of six steps to complete before returning to the team.

  • Apologize and condemn the movie he posted on his social media accounts.
  • Donate $500,000 to anti-hate causes.
  • Do sensitivity training.
  • Get educated on anti-Semitism.
  • Meet with Anti-Defamation League and Jewish leaders.
  • Meet with Joe Chai to show that he understood why his actions were wrong.

Only after all six steps are taken will Irving be able to return to the floor. It is not clear at this stage which steps have been taken and which have not been taken. Irving is still expected to engage with a number of constituencies, including meeting with Jewish community leaders, before returning, according to Wojnarowski. “Clara and I met with Kyrie and his family yesterday,” Nets owner Joe Tsai he tweeted Friday. “We’ve spent quality time getting to know each other and it’s clear to me that Kyrie has no anti-Jewish beliefs or any group.”

The Nets begin their road trip on Saturday against the Clippers. After that, Irving will technically have missed five games and will be eligible to return Sunday against the Lakers. However, Nets coach Zach Vaughn said Saturday afternoon that Irving will not be available for Sunday’s game against the Lakers.

“Joe [Tsai] released this statement yesterday, it shows where the partnership and alignment is right now, I have no update on the timeline.” Vaughn said.

When asked if Irving would be available at all during the road trip, Vaughn said he doesn’t know.

“I don’t know, I know he’s not available tomorrow, that’s what I’ve been told,” Vaughn said.

Shortly after, Nets owner Joe Tsai noted that Kyrie “still has work to do” when asked if Irving would return during this road trip.

“He’s got to show people he’s sorry,” Tsai told the New York Post during Saturday’s game against the Clippers at Arena. “What’s important – and what people are missing – is that he only apologized after he was suspended.”

If Irving doesn’t return during that road trip, the first possible game he could play would be Nov. 20 against the Memphis Grizzlies in Brooklyn.

On Friday the NBPA issued a statement of his own handling of Irving’s return. “We are working closely with Kyrie, the Nets organization and the NBA to develop a plan to move forward through forgiveness, understanding and healing,” it says. The NBPA was adamant that “Kyrie’s rights, and the rights of all future players, are protected every step of the way,” according to a memo. That will make it difficult for the Nets to keep Irving out indefinitely, but for now it doesn’t look like he’ll be back on this upcoming road trip.

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