NBA

Irving available for Brooklyn Nets clash with Memphis Grizzlies

By Sports Desk November 20, 2022

Kyrie Irving is available again after an eight-game ban ahead of the Brooklyn Nets hosting the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.

The 30-year-old NBA star had been serving a suspension imposed by the Nets on November 3 for sharing a social media post on a book and film that featured anti-semitic tropes.

Irving verbally apologised for the post for the first time on Saturday, saying he was "deeply" sorry to the Jewish community.

The Nets initially listed Irving as "questionable" for the Grizzlies clash at Barclays Center, before confirming on Sunday he would be available.

Irving said he has been on a "learning journey" as part of his suspension and reintegration into the Nets team, before reiterating his sorrow to reporters on Sunday, offering: "my deep apologies to all those who are impacted over the last few weeks".

"I don't stand for anything close to hate speech, or anti-semitism, or anything that is anti going against the human race," he said. "I feel like we all should have an opportunity to speak for ourselves when things are assumed about us.

"And I feel it was necessary for me to stand in this place and take accountability for my actions because there was a way I should have handled all of this.

"... I meant no harm to any person, any group of people. And yeah, this is a big moment for me because I'm able to learn throughout this process that the power of my voice is very strong.

"The influence that I have within my community is very strong, and I want to be responsible for that. In order to do that, we have to admit when you were wrong and instances where you hurt people and it impacts them."

Irving has played just eight games this season as a result of the ban, averaging 26.9 points, as well as 5.1 assists and 5.1 rebounds.

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    Brooklyn Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn wants Kyrie Irving to succeed despite his departure from the team, after he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks.

    The guard made the move from New York to Texas ahead of Thursday's deadline after threatening to leave as a free agent at the end of the season.

    It has been an unsettled campaign for Irving with the Nets, having been suspended for eight games after posting a link on social media to an antisemitic film.

    But Vaughn, who has picked up Mavericks pair Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith in return, had nothing but kind words to say after his exit.

    "My interactions with Kai have always been positive," he said after the Nets slipped to a 124-116 loss against the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday.

    "I enjoyed coaching him. I want him to succeed. I'll keep it that simple. We've had some ups and downs along the way. I've also seen the young man score 60 points.

    "I've also seen him bring his kids into the locker room. I've also seen him grow as an individual and be a better teammate than when I first met him.

    "For me, I'm going to always look at the good in people and want the good in people. I want him to succeed. He's no longer with us, but I appreciate his time."

    Irving, who will link up with three-time All-NBA Team guard Luka Doncic in Dallas, will be out to help push the Mavericks into the championship race.

    The team sit fifth in the Western Conference with a 29-26 record after a 124-111 win over the Utah Jazz and face the Clippers next on Wednesday.

  • Thompson three-point heroics cheer Curry and Kerr as Golden State blast past Thunder Thompson three-point heroics cheer Curry and Kerr as Golden State blast past Thunder

    Klay Thompson was hailed by Stephen Curry after a masterclass in three-point shooting for the Golden State Warriors, draining 12 from behind the arc against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    It was only the seventh time in NBA history that a player has made at least 12 threes in a game, and Thompson joins team-mate Curry as the only ones to accomplish it twice.

    Thompson holds the outright record of 14 three-pointers in an NBA game, achieved in 2018 against the Chicago Bulls, but this time 12 was plenty as the Warriors scored a crushing 141-114 win over the Thunder.

    "That boy gooooood!" Curry wrote on Twitter.

    Curry is out for the foreseeable with knee ligament damage, so the onus falls on the likes of Thompson to step it up for the 28-26 Warriors, last season's champions who sit seventh in the Western Conference.

    Thompson put together a 27-point first half at Chase Center, finishing the game with 42 points on 15-of-22 shooting, including a 12-of-16 record from long range.

    The 32-year-old Thompson is no strange to such big individual efforts. He has hit at least 10 threes on eight occasions across his NBA career, and he had an inkling something special was one before this game began.

    He said, quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle: "Every pregame when I’m doing my little warm-up I flip a kettle bell to see if it lands upright, and tonight it did. So I knew it was going to be a good one."

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    The 42 points was Thompson's second-biggest haul of the season, beaten only by his huge 54-point game on January 2 against the Atlanta Hawks.

    Coach Steve Kerr said: "That was probably the most fun I've had watching our team all year."

    He praised the "magnificent" Jordan Poole, who had a career-high 12 assists and added 21 points.

    "It was one of the best games I've ever seen him play, he was so under control," Kerr said.

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    Brown was a late withdrawal due to illness in the hours leading up to tip-off, while the All-Star was joined on the sideline by reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart as he recovers from an ankle injury.

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    "You hope that he doesn't keep going, or get going," he said. "We tried to trap him, get the ball out of his hands, and he made good decisions.

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    Pistons point guard Killian Hayes added: "A guy like that, you give him any opportunity, he’s going to take it. He didn't make a three-pointer in the first half, and then he hit one and he's hard to guard. A guy like that, you can't let him get going."

    Meanwhile, Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla decided to focus on his role players, highlighting his belief in Hauser and big-man Robert Williams III after the latter became the first Boston player to ever record 15 points, 15 rebounds and two steals in less than 30 minutes of action.

    "I thought [Hauser] was great in the first half," he said. "The decision [to start him] – I just trust his work ethic, and I trust his mindset, so I thought it was a good opportunity for him to play and get us in a different flow on the offensive end.

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    "We need him to be a great screener against different coverages, consistently. We need him to be a playmaker in the seam versus the blitz, and we need him to create two-on-ones for us. 

    "I thought we did a really good job of making a point of emphasis to get him the ball and make him a playmaker to kickstart our two-on-ones – we need that from him."

    With the win, the Celtics improved their league-best record to 38-16, one game ahead of the Denver Nuggets and Milwaukee Bucks.

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