The Brooklyn Nets are back to being recognized for their off-the-court drama rather than their play. Nets guard Kyrie Irving is trending in NBA circles after posting a link to a film titled “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” which includes mentions of Black Hebrew Israelite extremism, as relayed by OutKick’s Bobby Burack.
With the team off to a 1-5 start to the season, Brooklyn head coach Steve Nash wanted to quell the fire started by Kyrie.
Nash spoke on Kyrie’s controversy and emphasized that the team will work toward creating unity within the locker room ahead of Monday’s contest against the Pacers.
Brooklyn hosts game two of a back-to-back homestand against Indiana.
“I just hope that we all go through this together,” Nash said Monday.
During Monday’s game, a group of fans was pictured courtside wearing “Fight Antisemitism” shirts, in clear view of Kyrie.
Nash stated the importance of understanding “new perspectives” and exhibiting “more empathy for every side of this debate.”
“There’s always an opportunity for us to grow and understand new perspectives. I think the organization is trying to take that stance where we can communicate through this. And try to all come out in a better position and both more understanding and more empathy for every side of this debate and situation.”
The negative press around Kyrie reached the top of the Nets organization.
Team general Joe Tsai voiced his opposition to Kyrie’s “antisemitic” commentary and condemned Irving with a public statement Saturday — reiterating his own support for all races, ethnicities and religions (despite not holding any opposition to China’s Uyghur enslavement problems).
“I’m disappointed that Kyrie appears to support a film based on a book full of anti-semitic disinformation,” Tsai remarked. “I want to sit down and make sure he understands this is hurtful to all of us, and as a man of faith, it is wrong to promote hate based on race, ethnicity or religion.”
Irving took down his tweet containing the link to the film Sunday following “internal discussions with the team” and a verbal spat with ESPN reporter Nick Friedell — Irving was pressed by the media after Sunday’s loss to the Pacers.
Kyrie hasn’t been fazed by the outside noise (at least on the court. Irving scored 35 points against the Pacers on Saturday and put up 28 points in the rematch on Monday.
“I haven’t been a part of those internal talks to be honest,” Nash said on Kyrie’s deleted tweet. “I’ve been just coaching, preparing the team, but I know that they’re working at that constantly.”
Nets forward Kevin Durant also spoke with Friedell on Sunday. He informed the ESPN reporter that the Kyrie drama has not affected the locker room, only the media.