LeBron James Says Kyrie Irving Should Play Again, NBA Commissioner Says Irving 'Isn't Antisemitic'

kyrie irving, lebron james
kyrie irving, lebron james

Dustin Satloff/Getty, Atiba Jefferson/NBAE via Getty

Should Kyrie Irving make a return to the NBA? LeBron James thinks so.

The Los Angeles Lakers player tweeted on Thursday that he thinks Irving's suspension was a step too far and that Irving should be able to return to the basketball court.

"I told you guys that I don't believe in sharing hurtful information. And I'll continue to be that way but Kyrie apologized and he should be able to play," James tweeted. "That's what I think. It's that simple. Help him learn — but he should be playing."

Irving was suspended by the Brooklyn Nets for at least five games without pay after he promoted the 2018 movie Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America in a tweet and then "refused to unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film" to the media, according to the Nets. One day after the Nets' suspended him, Irving shared a full apology, telling all "Jewish families and communities" he was "deeply sorry to have caused you pain."

That is part of what led James to speak out in support of Irving.

"What he's asked to do to get back on the floor I think is excessive IMO," James continued. "He's not the person that's being portrayed of him."

James had initially criticized Irving for promoting the film, telling ESPN last week, "I believe what Kyrie did caused some harm to a lot of people."

"It doesn't matter what color your skin is, how tall you are, what position you're in," James continued. "If you are promoting or soliciting or saying harmful things to any community that harms people, then I don't respect it. I don't condone it."

RELATED: Nets Condemn Kyrie Irving's Perceived Support of Antisemitic Film: 'This Is Bigger Than Basketball'

NBA commissioner Adam Silver reportedly met with Irving on Tuesday to discuss the incident, per the Associated Press.

Silver addressed that meeting with Irving at a Washington conference, according to the AP, saying, "I personally, based on what he said directly, to me have no doubt that he's not antisemitic but I think there's a process that he's going to now need to go through," according to New York Times reporter Sopan Deb.

Silver continued, "I think he understands that and incidentally, it's now with the Nets who are working on the specifics." Silver did not clarify what Irving would need to do to return to the game.

Silver had sharper words for the Nets star after he had initially tweeted out the film, saying that Irving had made a "reckless decision to post a link to a film containing deeply offensive antisemitic material." He had also expressed disappointment at the time that Irving had not made an apology or "more specifically denounced the vile and harmful content contained in the film he chose to publicize."

RELATED: Charles Barkley Says NBA 'Should Have' Suspended Kyrie Irving After He Promoted Antisemitic Film

Irving first took accountability for his tweet on Nov. 2, but stopped short of apologizing. Two days later, he gave a full apology in a message to the Jewish community on Instagram on Nov. 4.

He said, "I initially reacted out of emotion to being unjustly labeled Anti-Semitic, instead of focusing on the healing process of my Jewish Brothers and Sisters that were hurt from the hateful remarks made in the documentary."

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"I had no intentions to disrespect any Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or perpetuate any hate," he continued. "I am learning from this unfortunate event and hope we can find understanding between us all."

Irving has sat out four games so far, with his fifth scheduled for Saturday night. Barring another suspension from the Nets, he is set to return to the court on Sunday night against James' Lakers.

Along with his suspension, Nike also distanced itself from Irving, saying in a statement to PEOPLE that the brand would no longer launch the Kyrie 8 sneakers and would "suspend our relationship with Kyrie Irving effective immediately."