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Kyrie Irving will not play against Lakers Sunday, return date uncertain

Kurt Helin and Corey Robinson react to the Nets deciding to remove the interim tag from Jacque Vaughn and naming him the full-time head coach, with Helin describing it as a "stabilizing move" amid all the swirling chaos.

When the Brooklyn Nets suspended Kyrie Irving for “at least five games,” nobody expected it to be just five. Especially when that fifth game was against the Lakers in Los Angeles, a major media market where the spotlight would have been intense.

Irving’s suspension will reach six games Sunday. He will not play against the Lakers, Nets coach Jacque Vaughn confirmed on Saturday before his team beat the Clippers 110-95. Vaughn said he didn’t know a timetable for Irving’s return.

What will raise eyebrows is Nets’ owner Joe Tsai’s answer when Brian Lewis of the New York Post asked about Irving returning on this road trip (the Nets have games in Sacramento and Portland before returning to Brooklyn).

Tsai added:

“He has to show people that he’s sorry,” Tsai told The Post... “What’s important — and what people miss — is he only apologized after he was suspended.”

There has been considerable pushback from the players’ union and individual players — including LeBron James — on the six steps the Nets and Tsai laid out for Irving to return. Tsai’s comments drew a response from the Celtics’ Jalen Brown, an NBPA vice president.

Irving apologized in an Instagram post, then met with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Tsai and his wife.

This situation has the potential to get a lot messier before Irving does return.