Kyrie Irving was once rumored as a trade candidate for the Los Angeles Lakers as they looked to unload the contract of Russell Westbrook over the summer.
The deal never gained traction and now Irving is suspended for “no less than five games” and the Lakers are 2-6 on the season.
Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets looks on from the bench during the Chicago Bulls game at Barclays Center on Nov. 1, 2022, in New York City.
(Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
Irving was suspended by the Brooklyn Nets Thursday night after he “refused to unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material,” from the film he shared on social media last week. He later apologized, but Nike suspended its relationship with the seven-time All-Star on Friday.
Following the Lakers’ 130-116 loss to the Utah Jazz Friday night, LeBron James weighed in on the Irving controversy, saying his former teammate “caused some harm.”
“It’s simple. Me, personally, I don’t condone any hate to any kinds, any race, to Jewish communities, to Black communities, to Asian communities. You guys know where I stand,” James said Friday night.
Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers high-five after a game on Jan. 23, 2020, at Barclays Center in New York.
(Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
“I believe what Kyrie did caused some harm to a lot of people,” James continued. “He has since, over the last – today, or was it yesterday? – he apologized. But he caused some harm, and I think it’s unfortunate. I don’t stand on the position to harm people when it comes to your voice or your platform or anything. So, it doesn’t matter what color your skin is, how tall you are, what position you are in. If you are promoting or soliciting or saying harmful things to any community that harm people, then I don’t respect it. I don’t condone it.”
In October, the SpringHill Company – founded by James and business partner Maverick Carter – announced that a taping of “The Shop,” featuring Kanye West, would not air after West reportedly “doubled down on his recent antisemitic remarks during the episode.”
LeBron James of the Lakers during the Utah Jazz game on Nov. 4, 2022, at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles.
(Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
“Yesterday we taped an episode of The Shop with Kanye West,” Carter said in a statement to Andscape. “Kanye was booked weeks ago and, after talking to Kanye directly the day before we taped, I believed he was capable of a respectful discussion and he was ready to address all his recent comments. Unfortunately, he used The Shop to reiterate more hate speech and extremely dangerous stereotypes.”
James and Irving were teammates on the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2014 to 2017, winning the 2016 NBA championship together.