AFTER serving an eight-game suspension, Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is back.

The seven-time NBA All-Star was handed an indefinite suspension by the Nets at the beginning of the month for “publicizing a film containing deeply disturbing antisemitic hate” on his social media.

Reuters

Irving played 26 minutes against the Grizzlies[/caption]

AP

He racked up fourteen points and five rebounds on his return[/caption]

The movie in question, Hebrews and Negroes: Wake Up Black America, is based upon a book that Rolling Stone described as “stuffed with antisemitic tropes.”

Now back after publically apologizing for his actions, Irving said “it felt good” to be back out on the court during their 127-115 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.

Irving said: “I missed my teammates, missed the coaching staff.

“It felt good to get this game out of the way. Now we can move forward with the rest of the season.”

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Irving, who said he “never had a doubt” that he would return, was keen to focus on their win during his post-game press conference.

However, when asked, the 30-year-old hinted that filing a grievance against the Nets is not off the table.

He explained: “I got to leave that to my legal team and leave that to the warriors I have around me.

“I have some strong people, men and women around me, that are going to do everything possible to make sure that I’m protected, my family’s protected, and we protect one another.


“So I’m sure some things will be done in the future, but there’s no timetable on that right now.”

While his stance on a potential grievance was murky, what Irving looked to make crystal clear when speaking to SNY was that he is not an antisemitic individual.

Irving said: “I just want to apologize deeply for all my actions throughout the time that it’s been since the post was first put up.”

He also explained: “I’m a man who stands for peace.

“I don’t condone any hate speech of any prejudice, and I don’t wanna be in a position where I’m being misunderstood on where I stand in terms of antisemitism, or any hate for that matter for anybody in this world.”

Getty Images – Getty

Irving’s suspension was for a minimum of five games[/caption]

But this ordeal doesn’t mean Irving will be staying away from social media.

Far from it by the sounds of things.

Post-game, Irving explained his desire to have the ability to share his feelings without judgment.

He said: “I would like to be on a platform where I could openly share how I feel without being harshly criticized, or being labeled. Or dealing with outside perceptions that have nothing to do with me.”

Regardless, Irving’s focus will now return to the 8-9 Nets as they look to continue their rebound from a poor start to the season.

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Since parting ways with Steve Nash earlier in the year, new head coach Jacque Vaughn has stepped in and watched over a turnaround in form, going 6-4 through his first ten games.

Next up for Vaughn’s Nets are the 8-8 Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.

EPA

Vaughn (C) has gone 6-4 since taking over the Nets[/caption]

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