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Dallas Mavericks v Brooklyn Nets

Kyrie Irving is currently enduring heavy criticism over claims that he’s embraced antisemitism and for promoting a film that reportedly injects some similar critique of Jewish people. As a result, there is a running discussion on whether or not the talented Brooklyn Nets guard will return to the court or stick to his guns as he’s known to do.

Kyrie Irving, 30, is still one of the best players in the NBA, an elite scorer and facilitator that can change the game with his will to win alone. In recent times, Irving has transformed himself into a “voice of the voiceless” and embraced talking points that frame him as someone who thinks for himself with bracing conviction.

Irving most recently came under fire for tweeting out a link to Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America, a movie some say espouses antisemitic viewpoints. In the wake of Irving sharing out the link, he’s been suspended for five games by the Nets and has to meet a series of demands before his return to the court. Some are saying that the list of demands will be a step too far for Irving, who has proven to take his own path in times past.

Veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein covered Irving’s potential of being ousted from the league in his premium Substack newsletter, The Stein Line, which features a quote from Nets GM Sean Marks.

From The Stein Line:

“I’m completely empathetic to what’s going on here and I’m certainly not proud of the situation we find ourselves in,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said last week. “I’d like to get back to basketball.”

In a new article from The Athletic, reporter Sam Amick spoke with 11 NBA executives who issued statements under the cloak of anonymity and declared that Irving’s career could careen to a close.

From The Athletic:

“He’s the opposite of a commodity, which is what you want a player who’s getting paid that much to be,” one general manager said.

“I think Kyrie might not play in the NBA again,” said another general manager.

“It’s gonna be one-year deals from here on out (for Irving),” a front office executive said.

“With Nike pulling away, that makes it even tougher for him,” one owner said of the shoe company’s decision to suspend its longstanding relationship with Irving.

As Amick notes and most NBA fans would agree, Kyrie Irving is an amazing basketball talent and performs at the highest level when he’s on the court. That said, his controversial stances, dating back to his embrace of flat earth theory and his skepticism over the COVID-19 vaccine, might see Irving on the outside of the league despite his talents.

Photo: Getty

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