Kyrie Irving’s eight-game suspension ended Sunday as the star level guard suited up for the Brooklyn Nets recreation in opposition to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Irving hadn’t performed for the Nets since November 1. The Nets suspended Irving on November 3 after he tweeted a hyperlink to a documentary containing antisemitic messages, adopted by an preliminary refusal to situation an apology.
Irving has since issued a number of apologies, together with throughout his pregame media availability Sunday.
“I simply need to provide my deep apologies to all those that had been impacted over these previous couple of weeks, particularly my Jewish kin, my Black kin, all races and cultures,” Irving stated Sunday. “Feel like all of us felt an affect and I do not stand for something shut to hate speech or antisemitism or something that’s ‘anti,’ going in opposition to the human race.”
“I really feel it was needed for me to stand on this place and take accountability for my actions,” Irving stated.
Irving obtained a heat welcome from the Brooklyn crowd throughout participant introductions earlier than tip-off. He completed the evening with 14 factors and 5 rebounds in the Nets’ 127-115 victory over the Grizzlies.
Irving stated after the recreation that it “felt good” to be again on the courtroom.
“Missed my teammates,” Irving informed reporters. “Missed the teaching workers. Just getting ready with them in the morning and carrying over to the recreation, it felt good.”
When requested if he would file a grievance over his suspension, Irving stated he’d go away that call to his authorized staff.
“I’ve some sturdy individuals, women and men, round me which can be going to do all the pieces doable to ensure that I’m protected and my household’s protected and we shield one another, so I’m certain some issues can be finished in the future,” Irving stated. “There’s no timetable on that proper now.”
Speaking earlier than Sunday’s recreation, Nets coach Jacque Vaughn confirmed no hesitation about his determination to put Irving on the ground to begin the recreation.
“He’ll begin, and we’ll see the place his conditioning is, the tempo of the recreation at which we would like to play. Excited to have him again on the ground with our group, and he’ll match proper in,” Vaughn stated.
During an interview Saturday with SNY’s Ian Begley, Irving stated he reacted emotionally to being known as “antisemitic.”
“I felt like I used to be defending my character and I reacted out of simply pure protection and simply harm that I might be labeled, or I believed that I used to be being labeled as antisemitic or anti-Jewish, and I’ve felt like that was simply so disrespectful to ask me whether or not or not I used to be antisemitic or not,” Irving stated.
The Nets’ subsequent scheduled recreation is Tuesday at the Philadelphia 76ers.