Kyrie Irving’s decision not to conduct interview with YES irks some at network

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TORONTO — The decision not to do an interview with Kyrie Irving’s Yes — the Nets’ rights-holder — before the Brooklyn Star is reinstated has disappointed some at the network, sources close to the situation said.

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Going straight to the opponent was like salt in the wound.

Irving, 30, who was suspended by the Nets after posting links to an anti-Semitic film on social media and refusing to apologize, Gave an exclusive interview to rival Sportsnet New York Network (SNY) on Saturday.


“I want to deeply apologize for all of my actions during the time since this post was first put up. I’ve had a lot of time to think,” Irving told SNY’s Ian Begley.

“But my focus, initially, if I could get over it, would be to heal and repair my very close relationships with my Jewish relatives, brothers and sisters,” he said.

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A source told The Post that the decision to go to a direct competitor upset many YES employees. The panic was believed to have not reached the executive level.

Kyrie Irving returns from his suspension on Sunday against the Grizzlies.
NBAE via Getty Images

Irving’s SNY interview – which sources told the post was not set up through the nets – preceded a public maia pulpa with the assembled media the following day. The team later eventually lifted the suspension imposed on 3 November.

The initial suspension was for at least five games – without pay – and reinstatement was contingent on completing a number of tasks, one of which included the aforementioned public apology for promoting the film.

On October 29, Yes Nets announcer Richard Jefferson stated that he was “disappointed” with Irving for posting on Twitter about an anti-Semitic film and previously Alex Jones, refusing to remove the post. There was silent support.

Irving was sidelined for eight games before returning on Sunday against the Grizzlies.

Yes declined comment. Begley did not return calls.

While Yes Broadcast largely ignored the controversy surrounding Irving’s return against Memphis, he and many of his commentators criticized the star shortly after his October 27 tweet.

On Halloween against Indiana, the network showed fans courtside during a home game wearing “fighting anti-Semitic T-shirts”.

Both Begley and The Post had interviewed fans wearing the shirts, some viewing The Post’s story as more critical of Irving.

Emmy-winning yesteryear play-by-play man Ian Eagle could not interview Irving.

While sidelined from the rightsholder during his suspension, Irving eventually granted Begley an exclusive interview.

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