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Nets owner Tsai met with Kyrie Irving, return likely next week

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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.

While some speculated he would never suit up for the Nets again, Kyrie Irving has been taking steps toward returning to the court — including meeting with team owner Joe Tsai — however, it is likely next week before Irving laces up his Nikes for a game again.

Brooklyn suspended Irving for a minimum of five games and laid out six steps he had to complete to return. One of those was meeting with Tsai, which happened.

There has been pushback from players — including LeBron James and the players union — on the steps Irving was asked to complete (Irving is on the union’s executive committee). LeBron said what many of his colleagues are thinking: An apology should be enough. Irving apologized in an Instagram post, but the Nets asked for an in-person apology in front of the media, where he disavows the antisemitic film he linked to on Twitter, as well as other steps.

The sides are talking and nearing an agreement that sees Irving return to the court (Irving met with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver earlier in the week). The five-game suspension laid out by the Nets would end in time for Irving to play against the Lakers Sunday in Los Angeles, but it’s expected to be a little while longer before he retakes the court, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at ESPN.

That timeline is not a surprise, there had been a buzz around the league that bringing Irving back a massive media crush in Los Angeles (ESPN’s West Coast headquarters is literally across the street from the crypto.com arena) would be a mistake. There are softer landing spots.

Whatever that spot is, it looks like the speculation Irving was done as a member of the Nets was wrong. He will be back next week.