"When I started actually doing research on my own and figuring out that there is no real picture of Earth ... it becomes like conspiracy, too."
Back in February, Celtics guard Kyrie Irving created a bit of a stir when he appeared on then-teammate Richard Jefferson's podcast (when both were members of the Cavaliers) and expressed his firm belief that the Earth—the big round globe we all call home—is in fact flat. He had mostly held to his comments on the matter until September, when he went on a Boston radio show and told the hosts that, actually, his whole flat-earth thing was merely a bit designed to troll people, or start a conversation, or ... well, you try to make sense of this word salad.
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.
What's notable about Irving's, uh, answer is that he doesn't actually come out and say that the earth is round; he just leaves it vaguely there, instead trying to promote himself as a guy who's Just Asking Questions about something that's been settled since roughly the fourth century BC. But for those who were relieved that Irving had, at the very least, given up on his bizarre and stupid beliefs, his appearance on the podcast of UConn women's basketball head coach Geno Auriemma (!?) will have them sighing deeply. Spaketh Irving:
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. 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.
Again, Irving states that his whole intent with this flat-earth silliness is to get people to "wake up and do your own research," as if he's some rogue scholar version of Neo in The Matrix. But it's once more surrounded by an impenetrable mish-mash of strange syntax and flat-out untruths. What exactly does he mean by saying there's "no real picture of Earth"? Here's a real picture of Earth, taken by the crew of Apollo 8 in 1968.
Irving is also somehow under the impression that we haven't been to the moon since 1969 (or, more worrisome, 1961—what secrets do you know, Kyrie?). In reality, astronauts landed on the moon five more times after Neil Armstrong first made contact with lunar soil; the last manned moon mission was Apollo 17, back in December 1972. (Color me mildly surprised, though, that Irving isn't a moon landing truther too.)
Anyway, Irving is allowed to believe what he wants to believe, though it would be helpful if he stopped saying it or promoting it out loud. After all, impressionable kids can hear this stuff.