Kyrie Irving may not believe the Earth is spherical, but his talking points on the subject certainly are.
Yes, we’re back on this topic, because Irving told Geno Auriemma on the “Holding Court” podcast that he’s discovered “that there is no real picture of Earth.” I know, I know, but first — some background.
By now, you’re surely aware the four-time NBA All-Star once said on the now (sadly) defunct “Road Trippin’” podcast, “The Earth is flat,” and then repeated it several times while espousing conspiracy theories about the CIA assassinating Bob Marley and aliens in movies being based on actual aliens.
While many people, including NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, were convinced Kyrie was making “a larger comment on the so-called ‘fake news’ debate,” Irving doubled down on “Road Trippin'” several weeks later during a conversation in which he said an ex-teammate came to him in his sleep. I know it sounds like I’m making all this up, but I assure you these are actual conversations that happened.
The topic circled back in September, when Irving first arrived at Boston Celtics training camp and was asked on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich” morning show, “Is the Earth flat?” Kyrie’s response: “All I want to be able to do is have that open conversation, and when I say open, I mean open.”
Somehow that turned into a series of headlines across the internet along the lines of “Kyrie Irving claims he was just trolling with all that flat-Earth nonsense,” which was as distorted as the flat-Earth theory itself, but whatever. Me? I still can’t get over the idea of this otherworldly talent who made one of the most clutch shots in NBA history telling us repeatedly that the Earth is flat. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around it for the past nine months, and this was the best I could do in September:
So, here’s my latest theory on Irving’s flat-Earth theory: He’s into the idea of a transcendent mind or a consciousness that lives outside of the brain. In his eyes, we are not of this world. Maybe we’re all in the Matrix. Maybe this is all a dream from which we’ll wake up someday. That would explain a lot about the current state of the world, actually. Whatever the case, our individual world is what we make of it, and that transcends science and everything we’ve learned about planets orbiting space.
Now? Now I have to scrap that theory in favor of a new one, which is really the original one: Kyrie Irving believes the Earth is flat, because he got into that sweet conspiracy theory stuff on the internet. It was right in front of our faces when he told us this the first time around, and it’s pretty tough to rule it out now that he just expounded upon it with the UConn women’s basketball coach, as one does.
I mean, I tend to take people at their word when they tell me over and over they believe something.
Auriemma turned his recent discussion from one on basketball to the shape of the Earth, pointing to his emigration by boat from Italy and Irving’s travels from Australia to the United States, before asking this: “You mean to tell me if we had kept sailing, we would have fallen off the edge of the Earth?”
“The whole intent behind it wasn’t to bypass science,” answered Irving. “It wasn’t to have the ultimate intent of starting a rage and to be seen as this insane individual. When I started seeing comments and things about universal truths that I had known, I had questions. I had questions, but I don’t necessarily know. I won’t necessarily sit here and say that I know, but when I started actually doing research on my own and figuring out that there is no real picture of Earth — like, there’s not one real picture of Earth — and we haven’t been back to the moon since 1961 or 1969, it becomes like conspiracy, too, where you say, ‘OK, let me question this.’
“And the separation that I can’t stand is that because I think one particular way — I’m not saying it applies to me and you, because you understand I’m a sane human being — but the way it was kind of divided, in terms of the separation, like, let’s completely throw away an idea that maybe we don’t know whether it’s true or not, but because he thinks different and he may think that the world is flat, then there’s a tirade of comments of who I am character-wise.
“It was literally the whole intent for people to open up and do their own research. That was the only intent. It wasn’t, ‘OK, let me figure out and go against science. Let me go against what I’ve been told and what’s right and all this stuff.’ It was literally just with the intent of: Just wake up and do your our research instead of actually assuming something that’s been told to you, because I’ve been told a lot in terms of my history and facts and particular facts, and it’s been completely false, so once I started doing that, that was the only intent behind all of that.”
Got all that? It’s pretty straightforward. His intent was not to bypass science and make us think he’s insane. His intent was to do his own research on the subject and make us realize he’s the sane one.
(There were nine Apollo missions from 1968-72, and 12 astronauts walked on the moon, by the way.)
For the record, I do not believe Kyrie Irving is insane. He is quite sane and quite real and quite out there. So, I have no idea where he gets the idea that there are no real images of Earth, because there are astronauts on the International Space Station right now tweeting almost daily photos of Earth live from space, and NASA has an actual live feed of the Earth from the space station as we speak.
Hey, here’s a photo of Earth:
Auriemma wisely asked Irving about all those pictures.
“I’m saying that you don’t even know if they’re real or not,” the Celtics point guard responded.
“Do you know they filmed the actual spacecraft leaving from the moon, right?” asked Irving. “Who the hell is filming that? You tell me.”
Well, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum will tell you in far more detail than I care to.
Irving then got into a conspiracy theory he’s carried on about before — that the bootprints Neil Armstrong left on the moon did not match the soles of his spacesuit on display at the Smithsonian. As I’ve explained before, if Irving would just be willing to keep this conversation open, he might grasp this is because Armstrong wore boots over the suit, and those bootprints definitely match.
I just woke up and did my own research, I guess. And let’s not even get into the fact that we don’t actually need images of Earth to prove it’s not flat. (The lunar eclipse earlier this year provided one of many phenomena that are only explained by spherical planets.) Hopefully this provides some answers for Irving, who concluded this part of his conversation with Auriemma with this incredible statement:
“I just want to know. It’d be nice to have that truth, because if this is what it is to be true, then I’ll stick to my own research, and I just kind of wanted to give that awakening to people. That’s all. It’s been told for centuries, so you don’t know.”
The Earth may not be, but time is a flat circle. Everything we’ve ever done or will do we’re going to do over and over and over again. So, I guess I’ll see you guys back here the next time Kyrie gets cosmic.
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Ben Rohrbach is a contributor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach
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