Kyrie Irving is getting familiar with the Boston media now that he’s a member of the Celtics, and that inevitably means he’s going to get questions about his belief that the Earth is flat. But according to Irving, that belief isn’t as cut and dry as he made it seem back at the All-Star game in New Orleans.
Irving joined the “Toucher and Rich” show on CBS Sports Radio in Boston on Monday and was asked about his infamous claim that he Earth is not round, like it actually is, but flat (which it is not).
The show’s posts about the incident seem to indicate that Irving was joking. Trolling everyone, if you will. Having a goof and a spoof, even. But we only have audio and can’t see if Irving was nodding or laughing when the hosts ask him about his claims and while he certainly admits to using the claims to exploit people jumping to conclusions, he doesn’t exactly definitively deny believing them.
It’s honestly not clear that Irving admits he was trolling, though he certainly tries to frame it like he knew what was going on the whole time here.
“You’re trolling everyone, aren’t you?” a host asked. “Are you trolling everyone with the earth flat thing?”
“Here it is: all I want to be able to have is that open conversation,” Irving said. “And when I say open, I mean open.”
Then Galaxy Brain Kyrie gets it together here and starts to preach.
“Listen to me: so what it did was, it was all an exploitation tactic. What it did was it literally spinned the world, your guys’ world, it spinner the world into a frenzy. And it proved exactly what I thought it would do in terms of how all this works.
And it created a division, or literally let all these people stand up there and throw tomatoes at me or have somebody think that I’m somehow this different intellectual person because I think that or because I believe that the world is flat and you think that the world is round. It created exactly that.”
The suggestion is that it was all one big experiment, which, sure. Irving says as much.
“Absolutely. That was the intent behind it,” Irving said. “Like, do your own research.”
Irving says it was a social experiment, sure, but a lot of people believed him. Flat Earthers even managed to find me on Facebook and praised Irving, thanking me for writing about it and spreading their message further. And teachers said they had trouble convincing some basketball fan students that Irving’s science is bunk.
Even other athletes like Los Angeles Rams wideout Sammy Watkins admitted he thinks the Earth is flat, too. So this kind of thing is a bit irresponsible as an experiment to see how the media reacts to weird beliefs. Unless, of course, Irving actually believes this and is simply hedging. It’s a shrewd move to say ‘made you think tho’ and reach for the intellectual high ground, but if Irving really does think the Earth is flat, he sure is trying hard not to get made fun of for it anymore.
“At the end of the day, you’re going to feel and believe what you want to feel,” Irving said. “But don’t knock my life.”
Well, OK. But Sammy Watkins probably deserves an apology here.