Kevin Durant Says Nets ‘Could Have Kept Quiet’ About Kyrie Irving

WASHINGTON (AP) — Kevin Durant mentioned Friday the Brooklyn Nets may have dealt with this tumultuous week a bit in another way — per week wherein his coach was fired and teammate Kyrie Irving was suspended for posting a hyperlink to an antisemitic work.

Then Durant clarified on Twitter that he doesn’t condone hate speech and “is about spreading love always.”

Durant spoke Friday on the Nets’ shootaround in Washington forward of the night’s recreation towards the Wizards. When requested what he considered Irving’s current conduct, which landed the guard a suspension of at the very least 5 video games, Durant mentioned: “I ain’t here to judge nobody or talk down on nobody for how they feel, their views or anything. I just didn’t like anything that went on.

“I felt like it was all unnecessary. I felt like we could have just kept playing basketball and kept quiet as an organization.”

Inside an hour, Durant adopted up via a tweet.

“Just wanna clarify the statements I made at shootaround, I see some people are confused,” he mentioned. “I don’t condone hate speech or anti-semetism (sic), I’m about spreading love always. Our game Unites people and I wanna make sure that’s at the forefront.”

Nets guard Irving (11) and Durant react towards the Boston Celtics within the second half of Sport 5 throughout the NBA’s first-round playoff sequence on June 1, 2021, in New York.

AP Photograph/Adam Starvation, File

Irving did apologize in an Instagram publish for not explaining the precise beliefs he agreed and disagreed with when he posted concerning the documentary.

Nets common supervisor Sean Marks mentioned Friday that the group has had some dialogue with Irving, however not sufficient given the circumstances.

“The organization has made multiple attempts to get with Kyrie and his representation and to have them clarify his feelings and put out a sense of remorse for this, and that obviously didn’t happen, and he refused to disavow that until his tweet last night,” Marks mentioned.

Marks mentioned Irving’s apology was a step, however actions will converse louder than phrases. He additionally mentioned the group isn’t contemplating releasing Irving right now.

“There is going to be some remedial steps and measures that have been put in place for him to obviously seek some counseling … from dealing with some anti-hate and some Jewish leaders within our community,” Marks mentioned. “He’s going to have to sit down with them, he’s going to have to sit down with the organization after this, and we’ll evaluate and see if this is the right opportunity to bring him back.”

Irving’s reluctance to apologize got here hours earlier than the FBI mentioned it had obtained credible details about a “broad” menace to synagogues in New Jersey, Irving’s house state.

In Florida on Saturday, the phrase “Kanye is right about the jews” was projected on the skin of one of many finish zones on the TIAA Financial institution Area stadium in Jacksonville throughout the Florida-Georgia soccer recreation — a reference to current antisemitic feedback that the music mogul previously generally known as Kanye West has made on social media and in interviews. The incidents come 4 years after the deadliest assault on American Jews, when 11 individuals had been killed at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

The Nets additionally parted methods with coach Steve Nash this week and regardless of the star tandem of Durant and Irving, the group has a 2-6 document. Durant mentioned the group has the power to tune out all of the turbulence.

“It’s just the way of the NBA now. So many outlets now and their stories hit pretty fast now. That’s where all the chaos is coming from,” he mentioned. “Everybody’s opinions, everybody has an opinion on the situation, we’re hearing it nonstop, but once the ball starts bouncing and we get into practice, none of that stuff really seeps into the gym.”