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Nets reportedly lay out six steps for Irving to complete before return

David Gardner joins the show to discuss the latest regarding Kyrie Irving, and why the Nets' point guard seems to be motivated by a desire to refuse whatever he's being told to do.

The Nets finally suspended star point guard Kyrie Irving for five games in response to a Tweet promoting an antisemitic movie (then Irving refused to apologize or back down for that action, at least at first). That suspension will cost him nearly $1.3 million, plus Nike has suspended its working relationship with Irving.

It’s a lot, but if Irving wants to get back on the court there’s more to do. The Nets have laid out six steps Irving has to complete six to be reinstated, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Irving did apologize on Instagram, but the Nets also want him to apologize verbally while meeting with the media. While he distanced himself from parts of the film in that online apology, it’s debatable whether he condemned the movie. He is donating $500,000 to anti-hate causes.

The trainings and meetings have yet to happen as far as we know, but those can be set up quickly. Same with meeting with team owner Joe Tsai.

These are close to the steps former Heat player Myers Leonard went through after he uttered a derogatory name for Jewish people on Twitch while playing a video game. What is being asked of Irving is not unprecedented.

The NBA players’ union has had discussions on the incident and union president CJ McCollum spoke for the first time on the matter Saturday, via ESPN.

“I think the important part was he did apologize,” McCollum said...

“He’s displayed empathy now. I think this is a learning experience in which I don’t think he understood the magnitude of the movie because he didn’t watch it. I don’t think he understood the magnitude of the people that were affected, how they were impacted and how fast hate can spread and how this can snowball.”

Tsai took criticism for being slow to act and suspend Irving, although it was reported his first goal was to make this a teachable moment for the star point guard. Ultimately he had to put some teeth in the Nets’ response, but the steps for Irving’s return show that Tsai still sees this as a chance to teach a lesson, not simply punish.