Celtics’ Jaylen Brown upset Kyrie Irving still banned
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After being decimated Sunday in a loss to the Lakers, the Nets quickly got a lot healthier Tuesday when they faced the Kings, though it didn’t help in a 153-121 defeat.
Nic Claxton (left eye contusion), Seth Curry (left ankle), Ben Simmons (left knee soreness) and Yuta Watanabe (lower-back contusion) were all available. Kyrie Irving (team suspension), T.J. Warren (left foot) and two-way Donovan Williams (G-League) were all out.
Claxton and Curry had initially been listed as probable. Claxton was knocked out of the game Sunday after taking a third-quarter elbow to the face and Curry was held out against the Lakers on the second night of a back-to-back.
Simmons and Watanabe had both been questionable. Simmons missed Sunday’s game with the same injury that cost him four consecutive games Oct. 31-Nov. 5.
Irving missed a seventh straight game due to his suspension after promoting an anti-Semitic movie on social media and initially refusing to apologize. He has been given a list of remedial tasks to fulfill in order to potentially be reinstated.
He has issued an apology on social media and met with NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Nets owner Joe Tsai, both of whom said they didn’t think the star was anti-Semitic. But on Saturday, when Tsai was asked by The Post about Irving returning, he said the guard “still has more work to do.”
Celtics star Jaylen Brown, who, like Irving, is an NBPA vice president, said Monday that Tsai’s comments don’t sit well with him.
“His response was alarming to me, I tweeted that out [Sunday]. He didn’t say that the organization was working together to get Kyrie back on the floor. He said that he had more work to do,” Brown said. “And our society has more work to do, including Joe Tsai. It’s 2022. It takes 10 minutes of time to see who these business owners, corporations, etcetera, who they’re associated with and who they’re doing business with, who they’re affiliated with.”
That may have been a thinly veiled reference to Tsai being the co-founder of Alibaba, which partners with some companies blacklisted by the U.S. government for actions in China. Alibaba invested in two facial recognition start-ups (Megvii and SenseTime) accused by Washington of helping China track its citizens. At least six U.S. universities and 19 pension funds also invested in one or the other.
“I’m vice president of the union, and it’s part of my job to protect our players legally,” Brown said. “And to see Phil Knight first come out and condemn Kyrie, and also see Joe Tsai say he has more work to do — I think it’s time for a larger conversation. And Adam came out and said in a statement that he doesn’t believe Kyrie Irving is anti-Semitic, and yet he’s still suspended indefinitely.”
Coach Jacque Vaughn had no update on Irving’s status for the Nets’ game Thursday at Portland or beyond that.
“I think overall [he] is in constant communication with the league and Joe Tsai, and will fill me in on a need basis,” Vaughn said. “I checked in with him [Tuesday], told him shootaround was great. Ready to coach this group, and that’s where we leave it. He tells me when he has an update he will let me know.”
The Anti-Defamation League sent a letter to Amazon turning up the heat to remove the film Irving shared, “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” from its platform. The e-commerce giant had promised action more than a week ago.
Kevin Durant with 27 points Tuesday, has now scored at least 25 points in each of the Nets’ first 15 games of the season. In NBA history, only Wilt Chamberlain in 1961-62 and 1962-63, Elgin Baylor in 1961-62, Rick Barry in 1966-67 and Michael Jordan in 1988-89 opened a season with at least 14 consecutive games of 25 or more points.
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