They dealt with the vaccine drama last season. This year’s scandal has been far worse. And it is not improving.
Irving had his chance at redemption following his suspension for promoting an antisemitic film — and showing zero remorse in the aftermath. He could have grown from it and met the organizational standards the Nets laid out. But here we are. The window for his possible reinstatement has opened. And movement has yet to occur.
Forget about basketball. The lack of transparency about Irving’s progress signals he is not genuine in his claims of contrition. The Nets need to cut him. Now.
Putting this recent debacle aside for a moment, Irving was in a bad enough light last season when he couldn’t play most games in Brooklyn with a strong stance against the vaccine. He had his fair share of skeptics then, but near season’s end, vaccine mandates were lifted and Irving lost his almost laughable “part-time” player status. But that was it and the season continued.
In this case, moving on is not even in the same boat. Irving’s clear lack of regard for the Jewish community – there are over 500,000 Jews just in the borough of Brooklyn. The fact that it’s taken him this long already to not reach basic empathy levels is appalling. Vague tweets and ignoring the situation certainly don’t help either; in fact, those type of ignoring-the-problem statements likely only add fuel to the fire.
Irving’s well-accomplished as a professional basketball player, but how much does talent matter if the man behind those talents doesn’t uphold basic values of respect and understanding for others? He’s a well-known public figure, yes, but the fact that he’s good at his sport shouldn’t come into play here. Kyrie’s off-the-court issues have gotten too much in the way of whatever he may still provide to bringing the Nets wins in the standings.
If Irving truly wanted to right a wrong and sincerely apologize and turn this into something where he truly did his all to support the Jewish community, this would be a different story. He could have been a public advocate for the Jewish community, far surpassing whatever benchmarks that Nets’ ownership laid out for him. Unfortunately, Irving can’t even reach the basic threshold required of him. At this point, that likely wouldn’t even be enough. His window has expired here, at least as it concerns his time in Brooklyn. Ownership did what they needed to do, and Irving did not comply. It’s as simple as that.
The Nets need to take a stance here and cut Irving from the roster; why would they want someone representing their organization, never mind one of the faces of the franchise, who does not display their basic core values of respect for all? For the respect of the Jewish community, the Nets need to move on. The last straw is well in the rearview mirror.