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Kevin Durant on anticipated return of Kyrie Irving: ‘Gonna give us a much needed spark’

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NBA: Preseason-Philadelphia 76ers at Brooklyn Nets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In a brief discussion with beat writers after morning shootaround in Portland, Kevin Durant talked about the anticipated return of Kyrie Irving. Per tweets from Adrian Wojnaowski on Wednesday and Shams Charania on Thursday, that’s likely Sunday vs. the Grizzlies at Barclays Center.

“It’s exciting for everybody. I mean we miss Ky. we miss his presence on the floor,” said KD.

“I haven’t talked to him since we’ve been on the road trip about it, the last couple of days. But we’re looking forward to his return to the team. Definitely gonna give us a much needed spark.”

The Nets are on a two-game losing streak, looking gassed Sunday in Los Angeles vs. the Lakers, then completely outplayed in Sacramento vs. the Kings, setting a franchise record for defensive ineptitude while losing 153-121.

Durant said he is unaware of where Irving is in the “process” as described by NBPA executive director in talking with Woj. He added that he hasn’t been in contact with Sean Marks or Joe Tsai about the situation.

“I don’t know the details about anything that’s going,’ he told reporters. “I should know I guess because I’m part of the team, but I’ve been totally focused on the road trip. Once we get back home I’m sure that stuff will figure itself out. But hopefully it’s soon.”

Although the Nets laid out six prerequisites for Irving, it’s uncertain they are still relevant. The Nets, Irving, the NBA and NBPA have been in talks about his return in recent days. Tsai tweeted six days ago that the parties “are working constructively toward a process of forgiveness, healing and education,” also without discussing the prerequisites.

Indeed, in a story later Thursday, Shams reported that Irving has gone beyond what had been asked of him.

Sources close to the Nets and the league say that both sides are happy with what Irving has done throughout the process, especially given the number of community leaders he has met with.

One source, who was granted anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter, said that Irving chose to go “above and beyond” what was asked of him.

The Nets suspended Irving for a minimum of five games back on November 3, a week after he promoted an antisemitic video on Twitter and Instagram. SInce then, he has met with both Tsai and Adam Silver.