LeBron James calls Nets' punishment of Kyrie Irving 'excessive'


LeBron James told reporters last week that Kyrie Irving’s promotion of an anti-Semitic film, and his subsequent comments to the media, caused harm, but he believes his former teammate has properly apologized since then, and thinks the Nets should end his suspension.

“I told you guys that I don’t believe in sharing hurtful information,” James tweeted on Thursday. “And I’ll continue to be that way, but Kyrie apologized and he should be able to play. That’s what I think. It’s that simple. Help him learn, but he should be playing. What he’s asked to do to get back on the floor I think is excessive [in my opinion]. He’s not the person that’s being portrayed of him.”

Irving was suspended for no fewer than five games by the Nets, who reportedly laid out a six-step checklist that needs to be satisfied before returning to play: one that includes publicly apologizing and condemning anti-Semitism, speaking with team ownership, and Jewish leaders in the community.

Irving has missed the last four games, and Brooklyn is 3-1 and have the top-rated defense in the NBA in that span.

Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1

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