Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving is a phenomenal basketball player.
That’s not debatable.
The Earth is spherical.
That’s also not debatable.
However, Irving, who went to the prestigious Duke University during his one-and-done collegiate season, actually believes that the Earth is flat.
After making the claim at the end of the summer, here’s what Irving said on Boston’s 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich” radio show in September:
"Look, look. Here it is. All I want to do is be able to have that open conversation," Irving said. "It was all an exploitation tactic. It literally spun the world — your guy's world — it spun it into a frenzy and proved exactly what I thought it would do in terms of how all this works. It created a division, or, literally stand up there and let all these people threw tomatoes at me, or have somebody think I'm somehow a different intellectual person because I believe that the Earth is flat and you think the world is round. It created exactly that.”
He continued, “It became like, because I think different, does that knock my intellectual capacity or the fact that I can think different things than you? That was the intent behind it. Do your own research, don't come to me and ask me. At the end of the day, you're going to feel and believe the way you want to feel. But don't knock my life over that.”
Therefore, it seemed like he was backing away from his original claim. However, in a recent interview with UConn women’s basketball head coach Geno Auriemma, Irving doubled-down on his original stance after doing some further research on the topic.
“The whole intent behind it, Coach, it wasn't to bash science. It wasn't to like have the intent of starting a rage and be seen as this insane individual,” Irving stated. “When I started seeing comments and things about universal truths that I had known, like I had questions… When I started actually doing research on my own and figuring out that there is no real picture of Earth, not one real picture of Earth — and we haven't been back to the moon since 1961 or 1969 — it becomes like conspiracy, too.”
He went on to explain his intent behind making a claim that is not supported whatsoever by the public or the scientific community as a whole.
“The separation that I can't stand is because I think one particular way … then there's a tirade of comments of who I am character-wise,” the four-time All-Star said. “The only intent was for people to open up and do their own research. It wasn't to, 'OK, let me figure out and go against science. Let me go against what I've been told is right, and all this stuff.' The only intent was just to wake up and do your our research… Instead of just 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. I just wanna open up and have that conversation. I wanted to just ask other individuals, like do you really think this actually happened? I just wanna know. Because I don't know either.”
Irving has helped lead the Celtics to a 6-2 record despite the team’s heartbreaking loss of Gordon Hayward in the first game of the year. Therefore, no matter how crazy his claims are, Boston fans will love him if he’s producing on the court, which he is.
We will all keep an eye on if his personal research reveals any further “findings”.