Durant hopes Nets 'move past' Kyrie controversy

by Gordon Dixon - Kevin Durant wants the Nets to "move past" the Kyrie Irving controversy, while GM Sean Marks said Irving's apology was "a step in the right direction."

Kevin Durant wants Nets to 'move past' Kyrie Irving incident 12:01 PM ET Nick FriedellESPN Staff Writer Close Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009. WASHINGTON -- Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant said the fallout from Kyrie Irving 's social media posts that centered on an anti-Semitic book and movie was an "unfortunate situation" that "just sucks all around for everybody and hopefully we can move past it." Irving was suspended by the Nets on Thursday for "no less than five games" after he failed to formally apologize during a Thursday news conference for the hurt that his posts caused late last week. Irving later issued an apology over Instagram on Thursday night. "I ain't here to judge nobody or talk down on nobody for how they feel, their view or anything," Durant said following Friday's shootaround. "I just didn't like anything that went on. I feel like it was all unnecessary. I felt like we could have just kept playing basketball and kept quiet as an organization. I just don't like none of it." Following shootaround, Durant tweeted to clarify his comments, saying "I don't condone hate speech or antisemitism" Nets general manager Sean Marks, who traveled with the team for Friday's game against the Washington Wizards , said the team never considered waiving Irving in the wake of this latest controversy. "No," Marks said. "Not at this point in time." Marks said that while Irving's apology on Instagram was a good first step, Irving will need to take more steps, including "counseling designated by the team" as well as meeting with Jewish leaders within the Brooklyn community, before being able to play for the Nets again. Editor's Picks "I think after anything like this, you would always hope that there's a change," Marks said. "There's a change in feelings, a change in attitude, I think, per his apology, that's a step in the right direction. But as we've sort of stated, actions speak louder than words. And so he's had some time and there will be more time to reflect on that. "... He's going to have to sit down [Jewish leaders]. He's going to have to sit down with the organization after this. And we'll evaluate and see if this is the right opportunity to bring him back." When asked if he agreed with the team's decision to suspend Irving, said Durant: "I believe and trust in the organization to do what's right." As a longtime superstar in the league, Durant understands and has discussed the around-the-clock coverage that the NBA and its players receive. "It's just the way of the NBA now," Durant said. "Media, there's so many outlets now and stories hit pretty fast now. That's where all the chaos is coming from. Everybody's opinion, and everybody has an opinion on this situation, and we're hearing it nonstop. "But once the balls start bouncing and we get into practice, none of that stuff seeps into the gym, so that's the cool part about being in the gym. But once you step off the court, everybody's got the microphones out, microscopes, looking at you, asking you what you feel about it. So that's been difficult, but the game is a constant for us."