Nets Rumors: Irving, NBPA, Durant, Udoka

The players union has objections to the six conditions that the Nets are requiring Kyrie Irving to meet before he can resume playing, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. NBPA vice president Jaylen Brown said the union will likely file an appeal on Irving’s behalf. Brown calls the conditions unreasonable and points out that social media posts aren’t addressed in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Irving, who is slated to meet today with commissioner Adam Silver, was suspended last week for a minimum of five games. Before he can return, he is required to condemn an antisemitic film that he promoted on his Twitter account, meet with team owner Joe Tsai, meet with Jewish leaders in Brooklyn as well as the Anti-Defamation League, complete a sensitivity training course, go through antisemitic training and donate $500K to anti-hate organizations.

Irving could theoretically begin playing again by this weekend, but a report on Monday cited “growing pessimism” that he’ll ever suit up for the Nets again.

“He made a mistake. He posted something,” Brown said. “There was no distinction. Maybe we can move forward, but the terms in which he has to fulfill to return, I think not just speaking for me, speaking as a vice president from a lot of our players, we didn’t agree with the terms that was required for him to come back and we’re waiting for this Tuesday meeting to happen to see what comes of it. But we’ll go from there. That’s all I’ll say.”

There’s more on the Nets:

  • Irving also serves as a vice president for the NBPA, but that role could be in jeopardy after this latest controversy, according to Jared Weiss and William Guillory of The Athletic. Union president CJ McCollum said the NBPA is waiting for events to unfold before making any decisions about Irving’s future on its executive committee. “In this particular instance of (a) situation,” McCollum said, “Kyrie was elected in 2020 and it was a three-year term and that’s the extent of where we’re at with that.”
  • Irving has been outstanding in the eight games he has played this season — averaging 26.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists — but his off-court actions have virtually destroyed his trade value, per Sam Amick of The Athletic, who talked to 11 unidentified executives from rival teams. One GM speculated that Irving might never play in the NBA again, and a front office member said no one will sign him to anything more than a one-year contract. The view is much different toward Kevin Durant, with many executives believing he’ll be back on the trade market if the Nets can’t turn things around.
  • Some of the “strong voices” urging Tsai to pass on Ime Udoka as head coach are coming from within the organization, reports Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Lewis hears that the Nets held a recent meeting in which female staff members expressed reservations about Udoka, who was suspended by the Celtics following an affair with a staffer.
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