There were two microphones Sunday night, and each one told a story all its own.

The one on the platform between Atlantic Ave. and Flatbush, between the subway station and an arena, belonged to one man as he spoke to scores of men in purple and yellow sweatshirts lined up in unison to listen, as well as to passersby going to that night’s Nets–Grizzlies game or just minding their own business. The voice coming from that microphone was unceasing, speaking of biblical passages, of his people, of the Holocaust in Germany, comparing it to the one they have faced and remarking it was not quite as bad. He said they were the real Jews, “not you nominals.” He was, if not the leader of the group of some 300 members of Israelites United In Christ who settled outside the Barclays Center for hours Sunday, at least its voice. He talked for hours on a blisteringly cold night as the rest gave out pamphlets proselytizing for their cause, giving their warped truth of antisemitism, the kind that caused the group to be flagged by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Inside the arena, a few hours later, Kyrie Irving took to a microphone again, a routine but fraught occurrence by now for the Nets star. The group that had taken up so much space and noise around Barclays, lining the streets, unmistakable and unavoidable, had come not because of him, but in response to him. Irving had tweeted out a link to the Amazon page for an antisemitic movie, refused to apologize for it and showed no remorse. Four days later, caught in the middle of a storm, he played at home, and this group appeared, too. He did not play again until Sunday night, having been suspended by the Nets in the interim. Just as he returned from a 19-day absence from the Nets, they did, too.

Of all the criticism lobbed at Irving after the tweet that started it all, the most poignant and real was not that he was actually antisemitic or full of hate. It was that he had shared a piece of propaganda, giving oxygen to the kind of tropes and lies that Jews have faced for centuries, and refused to condemn it forcefully and quickly, choosing elliptical restraint instead until he was finally suspended and could not ignore the criticism anymore. Irving may be about love and peace, as he insists, but these were the consequences that many feared. A diminishment of pain, of death, of the horrors that ruined the lives of so many men and women and families, for generations. Right there, on Atlantic Ave. and Flatbush.

By Sunday night, Irving had already submitted his apologies. He had made one in an Instagram post two weeks ago, but after he had been cast away by the Nets’ organization. He had made another one that afternoon, in his return to the Nets, after, he said, speaking with Jewish leaders. Irving still bristled at times, indicating he felt misunderstood and mislabeled, but he was regretful and meant no harm, he said.

Now, Irving wanted only to focus on the game, a 127-112 win over the Grizzlies in which he had played 26 minutes and scored 14 points. He had missed his teammates and his coaches, he said, and they welcomed him back with ease. Jacque Vaughn, newly hired as head coach while Irving was away, said he laid out the ground rules to Irving in a chat that day.