Back in February before the All-Star break, Kyrie Irving revealed to the world that he is a flat-earth truther. He revealed his thoughts on the Earth’s form on Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye’s Road Trippin’ podcast (RIP), saying that society has been taught the Earth is round, but no one truly knows.
The reaction then was about what you’d expect. Most people thought “there’s no way he could actually believe this,” while a few bought into what Irving was saying. But over the last few months, Irving himself doesn’t seem to know what he actually believes either. He’s gone back and forth between actually believing that the Earth is flat and acting as if he put together an elaborate ruse to throw everyone off.
This ultra-woke version of Irving has become a clear part of his brand and personality over the last few months. We’ve seen it in multiple comments since Irving made his trade demand to the Cavaliers. There’s a combination of quirkiness, intellectualism and, sometimes, ridiculousness that lead him to making some of the decisions he does.
Sometimes Irving is believable and sometimes he isn’t. And he’s said a lot already, so it’s a bit difficult to parse through. But that’s why we’re here for you.
Feb. 17: Irving introduces us to his flat Earth-ism
It didn’t take very long for Irving to dive into his belief in the podcast. It has since been removed from the Cavaliers’ site, but the conversation started off by Jefferson talking about the existence of Aliens in the universe. Then Irving broke in saying “the Earth is flat,” and he eventually expounded upon that.
“If you really think about it from a landscape of the way we travel,” Irving said on the podcast. “The way we move and the fact that — can you really think of us rotating around the sun, and all the planets align, rotating in specific dates, being perpendicular with what’s going on with these planets and stuff like this.”
That’s pretty wacky. First of all, Irving is moving the laws of gravity to the side with his theory here. Secondly, when you look out the window of a plane, there’s a clear curvature over the horizon. But that’s neither here nor there.
It seems that, at least at the time, Irving truly believed what he was saying. He was passionate about it, even if it was wrong. And, I guess, that’s an admirable quality to have.
Feb. 28: Richard Jefferson defends Irving
Jefferson was a key player in the moment where Irving broke the internet with his flat Earth conspiracy, so of course he’d know if Irving was being serious or not. But here’s where the narrative shifted and where what Irving believed became muddled.
Jefferson said Irving’s true point behind the theory was that people should come up with their own beliefs instead of believing what is fed to them. (Via Fox Sports Ohio)
“Kyrie’s whole thing was more of just to open your mind. Don’t just take in information that’s fed to you. Create your own thoughts, create your own ideas,” Jefferson said. “He wanted to put that out there. Don’t just take in the information that you’re told....His whole point was open-minded thinking.”
So, at that point, people were thinking maybe Irving never really believed what he was saying at all.
March 16: Irving does a follow-up on Road Trippin’
To this point, people had been talking about what Irving meant to accomplish by putting throwing a flat-Earth bone to the media. But the only person who truly knew was Irving himself, and he returned to the Road Trippin’ podcast to address it.
Irving talked about the amount of attention his theory received and what the backlash from it looked like.
“As I’m at All-Star weekend I’m starting to see different news channels, different people pick it up. And it almost felt like I was standing on top of a pendulum and I was swinging back and forth and it gave everyone a chance to look at me, and, if they didn’t agree with me, to throw rocks at me,” Irving said. “People were asking me questions and they were looking at me like I didn’t have a brain on or my parents didn’t raise me the right way.”
Irving said he had to take a step back from the theory after that, but he did reveal that his ultimate goal was to create a discussion around what he believed. It just seemed to mostly work against him.
Sept. 26: Irving totally flips on the flat-Earth theory
Here’s where things got interesting. After a few months passed and the heat of the conversation turned down, Irving was asked whether he still truly believed the earth was flat by a in an interview with CBS Boston.
“You’re trolling everyone, aren’t you?” the hosts asked Irving. To which his response was basically a big ‘maybe.’
“All I want to do is be able to have that open conversation. It was all an exploration tactic,” Irving said. “It literally spun the world — your guys’ world — it spun it into a frenzy and proved exactly what I thought it would do in terms of how this works...Do your own research, don’t come 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.”
So, to this point, it seemed that the point of Irving’s exercise was to prove the existence of groupthink. I guess?
Oct. 27: Irving might still believe the Earth is flat
Irving went on Geno Auriemma’s Holding Court podcast to talk basketball, but of course, as always, the flat-Earth theory came up. And Irving, like he’d been doing up until that point, said he put the theory out there to prove a point. But he also continued to say that he hasn’t seen any real pictures of the Earth.
Auriemma pressed Irving out about that, saying that we’ve seen shots of the Earth from space via NASA’s satellites, which is totally true. But Irving wouldn’t stop there. He wasn’t having it.
“I’m saying, Coach, that you don’t even know if they’re real or not,” Irving said. “I just wanted to have that conversation. That’s it. I wanted to actually know or ask other individuals, Bro — excuse me — Coach and Sue, do you really think that this actually happened? I don’t know. I don’t know, either. I just want to know.”
And just like that, we’re back to square one. Irving’s passion on the subject that he’s been wrong on shined through here, so it seems that he does still believe that the Earth is flat.
Will his view ever change? Probably not. And that’s a shame, because a simple Google search shows you pictures of the Earth from space. No, I personally wasn’t there when those were taken. But saying those are false is the equivalent of saying Irving is a lazy basketball player who doesn’t work on his game and that no one can disprove that because we weren’t there when he was working on his game.
Things don’t really work that way, and, hopefully, this entire conversation can someday meet a silent end.