Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has taken significant steps toward getting his suspension lifted and could return to the team as soon as Sunday. Irving has met with Nets management, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Jewish leaders in an attempt to earn forgiveness for promoting a film featuring antisemitic themes.

“Kyrie is continuing his journey of dialogue and education,” NBPA executive director Tamika Tremaglio told ESPN Wednesday night. “He has been grappling with the full weight of the impact of his voice and actions, particularly in the Jewish community. Kyrie rejects Antisemitism in any form, and he’s dedicated to bettering himself and increasing his level of understanding. He plans to continue this journey well into the future to ensure that his words and actions align with his pursuit of truth and knowledge.”

Speculation around Irving’s attempts to move past his suspension has become a massive talking point beyond the world of sports, as many have used his story to discuss the normalization of prejudice and corporate apology efforts. It is not the first time that Irving has been at the center of controversies, as his refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine last year led to his long-term absence from games at the Barclays Center.

Irving’s impending return to the floor this season could not come at a better time for the Nets, who are 6-9 and allowed 153 points to the Kings on Tuesday. The team’s struggles have provoked Kevin Durant to openly disparage his teammates and argue that he can only carry them so far. The star seemed more optimistic in response to news of Irving’s potential return.

“I haven’t talked to him since we’ve been on the road trip about it, the last couple of days,” Durant said. “But we’re looking forward to his return to the team. Definitely gonna give us a much-needed spark.”

Though Irving’s return would likely lead to overall roster improvement, the star’s presence before his suspension did little to improve Brooklyn’s results on the floor. The team went 2-5 in games where Irving appeared and have gone 4-4 without him.

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