What is it about being an NBA player that makes you think the Earth is flat?
Just a couple of weeks after Cleveland Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving admitted on his teammates' podcast that he believed the globe wasn't a globe at all, Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal made his thoughts on the matter known.
And, surprisingly, Shaq is on Team Kyrie, saying he believes the flat-Earth theory as well.
Though Irving eventually tried to play his comments off as a joke, Shaq didn't seem to be joking when he explained his theory on his podcast recently:
“It’s true - the Earth is flat," O'Neal said. "The Earth is flat. Yes, it is. Listen, there are three ways to manipulate the mind - what you read, what you see and what you hear. In school, first thing they teach us is, ‘Oh, Columbus discovered America,’ but when he got there, there were some fair-skinned people with the long hair smoking on the peace pipes. So, what does that tell you? Columbus didn’t discover America.
"So, listen, I drive from coast to coast, and this s--- is flat to me. I’m just saying. I drive from Florida to California all the time, and it’s flat to me. I do not go up and down at a 360-degree angle. And all that stuff about gravity, have you looked outside Atlanta lately and seen all these buildings? You mean to tell me that China is under us? China is under us? It’s not. The world is flat.”
Other NBA players who subscribe to the flat-Earth theory include Wilson Chandler of the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green. Fortunately, NBA commissioner Adam Silver is on the record saying the Earth is round, but it's a sad state of affairs when that's something the commissioner actually has to address.
If the Earth was flat, how could a plane fly west from Los Angeles and end up in China? Similarly, how could a plane fly east from New York and end up in London? O'Neal's (and Irving's and Green's and Chandler's) theory is easily disproven with even the most basic science and common sense.
Unfortunately, this belief seems to be surprisingly prominent in the NBA, even though its players are some of the most well-traveled people on the planet. The only correct part of Shaq's rant? Columbus didn't actually "discover" America, so at least he gets credit for saying that.