Kyrie Irving deletes apology on Instagram, says he felt disrespected by Nets
Kyrie Irving has deleted the apology he posted on Instagram for linking to a movie that contained anti-Semitic material.
Though it’s not completely clear when Irving took the apology down, it is thought to be shortly before the Nets traded him to Dallas on Sunday. Irving, after his first practice as a Maverick on Tuesday, tried to shrug off his decision to remove the apology, which the Nets had required him to make in order to return from suspension.
"Yeah, I delete a lot of things on my Instagram," he said. "I’ve had things that have happened before in my life, probably not as drastic as that moment, which led to a lot of confusion and uncertainty in what I meant and what I stand for. I just sit up at these mics and explain to the world who I am, and I know who I am. So I delete things all the time, and it’s no disrespect to anyone within the community. Just living my life."
Irving is now living his life in Dallas, after having requested a trade from the Nets on Friday. Irving did not have kind words for the Nets, telling reporters he felt “disrespected” by the organization after his three and a half years there.
“I just know I want to be in a place where I’m celebrated, not just tolerated or kind of dealt with in a way that doesn’t make me feel disrespected,” Irving said after his first practice with the Mavericks. “There were times throughout the whole process when I was in Brooklyn where I felt very disrespected. And my talent — I work very hard at what I do — no one ever talks about my work ethic, though. Everyone talks about what I’m doing off the floor.”
Irving’s time on the floor was often limited by his activities off the court.
Irving played just 143 of a possible 278 regular season games as a Net. He played in just 29 games last season after his refusal to get vaccinated like the rest of his teammates kept him from being able to play at home for most of the season. He also was suspended for eight games this season after linking to the anti-Semitic movie and initially refusing to apologize.
Irving asked the Nets to trade him Friday after talks about his contract extension came to an impasse. On Sunday, he was sent to Dallas with Markieff Morris for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a 2029 first-round draft pick and two second-round picks in 2027 and 2029.
An All-Star starter this year, Irving averaged 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists in 40 games for the Nets this season. In his time with the team, they never got past the second round of the playoffs.
Still, Nets coach Jacque Vaughn had nothing but good things to say about his time with Irving.
"My interactions with Kai have always been positive,” he said Monday when asked to sum up the Irving era. “I enjoyed coaching him. And I want him to succeed. We’ve had some ups and downs along the way. I’ve also seen him score 60 points.”
Those points will now be scored somewhere else.