Kyrie Irving’s trading value has been described as “radioactive,” according to NBA insiders who spoke to ESPN’s Zach Lowe after the Brooklyn Nets star sparked accusations of anti-Semitism with a recent Twitter post.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of people in the league over the weekend and right now I feel like he’s radioactive,” Lowe told ESPN’s Nick Friedell in a recent podcast episode. “Even if you lower the price to zero, the baggage is just too much.”
Irving sparked controversy last week after sharing an Amazon link to the 2018 film Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America. The film is based on a 2015 book of the same name, which Rolling Stone called “toxically anti-Semitic.” In particular, Hitler is quoted to convince the audience of the existence of a Jewish plan for world domination.
Ever since Irving posted the Amazon link to the film on Twitter, Irving has been at odds with the media on Saturday, telling reporters, “I’m not going to back down from anything I believe in.” He then appeared to back down on Sunday, by deleting the post without explanation.
Irving was not made available to reporters after Monday’s game but has since released a statement denying anti-Semitism. And while he didn’t apologize, Irving donated $500,000 “to causes and organizations working to eradicate hatred and intolerance in our communities.” This donation was matched by the Nets.
Kyrie Irving’s trading value has been described as “radioactive,” according to NBA insiders who spoke to ESPN’s Zach Lowe after the Brooklyn Nets star sparked accusations of anti-Semitism with a recent Twitter post
“I reject all forms of hatred and oppression and stand strong with communities that are marginalized and impacted every day,” Irving said in the statement.
“I am aware of the negative impact my office has on the Jewish community and I accept responsibility. I do not believe that everything said in the documentary was true or reflects my morals and principles.’
The turbulent week for the Nets was only compounded by Tuesday’s firing of head coach Steve Nash in a 2-5 start. Assistant Jacque Vaughn served as interim head coach in Tuesday’s loss to the Chicago Bulls, but multiple reports say Nets general manager Sean Marks is interested in hiring scandalized and suspended Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, who is serving a season was suspended over allegations of an inappropriate affair with a team member.
According to ESPN, the Celtics would not stop the Nets from hiring Udoka.
The uproar has prompted many in the media to call for Irving’s trade or his release. Former Nets assistant general manager Bobby Marks (no relation to Sean) said on ESPN that Irving should be fired over the controversy.
“How many more chances will this organization give Kyrie Irving?” asked Bobby Marks rhetorically. ‘Enough is enough. I am not speaking from a trading standpoint.
“I understand that Ime Udoka is the last person who could possibly rule this group, but if you’re the front office in Brooklyn, send him home. You don’t need Kyrie Irving.”
The Brooklyn Nets star garnered attention when he shared the 2018 film Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America on social media with a link to his Amazon page
If there’s a potential trade target for Irving, a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers might make sense. LA could fire former MVP Russell Westbrook, who is struggling with his shooting and is a post-season free agent like Irving. Additionally, Irving would have a chance to reunite with former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate LeBron James, with whom he won his only NBA title in 2017.
But as Lowe said on his podcast, even that isn’t a possibility.
“They want to talk about the Lakers being the most desperate team in the league,” Lowe said. “Okay, the Lakers also play in a gigantic metropolis. All residents follow this story.
“I just don’t know what else to do.”
Of course, Irving’s recent Twitter controversy isn’t the only issue surrounding the All-Star guard.
The 30-year-old raised eyebrows last month for sharing a 2002 video of conspiracy theorist Jones to his Instagram story.
The video, titled “Never Forget – Alex Jones Tried To Warn Us,” refers to a “New World Order” that would “spread plagues.”
The Nets parted ways with coach Steve Nash after a brutal 5-2 start, and suspended Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka has emerged as the favorite to replace the two-time MVP
Fans sat on the sidelines at Monday’s Nets game wearing T-shirts that read “Fight Anti-Semitism.”
In the video, Jones said: “Yes, there have been corrupt empires. Yes, they manipulate. Yes, there are secret societies. Yes, oligarchies have existed throughout history.
“And yes, today in 2002 there is a tyrannical organization that calls itself the New World Order… by unleashing disease, virus, and plague upon us, we are basically being shoved into their system.”
The 2002 clip of Jones being ordered to pay nearly $1 billion to the families of victims of the Sandy Hook mass shooting was one of several videos shared related to Irving’s story at the time.
He addressed Jones when speaking to reporters about his latest tweet on Saturday.
“I don’t stand by Alex Jones — position, narrative, court cases he had with Sandy Hook or any of the kids who felt they had to relive trauma, or the parents who had to relive trauma or dismissive of all lives lost during this tragic event,” Irving said.
“My post was a post that Alex Jones made in the early ’90s or late ’90s about secret occult societies in America, and it’s true.”
Irving was not made available to reporters after Monday’s game but has since released a statement denying anti-Semitism. And while he didn’t apologize, Irving donated $500,000 “to causes and organizations working to eradicate hatred and intolerance in our communities.” This donation was matched by the Nets
Irving, who serves as vice-president on the players’ association executive committee, has also released videos covering a range of issues, including the death and decolonization of Queen Elizabeth II.
Irving is no stranger to conspiracy theories, having long been willing to go along with theories like the flat earth or staged moon landing.
The unvaccinated basketball star was unable to play most home games in Brooklyn last season because he failed to meet a New York jobs immunization mandate. The mandate has now been revoked.
In October 2021, he began following and liking Instagram posts from a conspiracy theorist who claimed that “secret societies” were planting vaccines in a conspiracy to connect black people to a mainframe computer for “a plan of Satan.”
In October 2018, when he apologized for endorsing the flat earth “theory,” Irving admitted to being a conspiracy theorist.
‘I was definitely at the time, ‘I’m a huge conspiracy theorist. You can’t tell me anything.” “I’m sorry about all that,” Irving said.
“Even if you believe in it, don’t come out and say something like that. This is for intimate conversations because perception and how you are received changes. I’m actually a smart guy,” he explained 18 months after first telling an interviewer, “The earth is flat. The earth is flat.. It’s right in front of our faces.’
If there’s a potential trade target for Irving, a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers might make sense. LA was able to fire former MVP Russell Westbrook (right), who has struggled with his shooting and, like Irving, is a post-season free agent. Additionally, Irving would have a chance to reunite with former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate LeBron James (left), with whom he won his only NBA title in 2017