Kyrie Irving sent shockwaves across what he considers the flat plane of the earth yesterday when he announced at NBA All-Star weekend that he believes the world is not a sphere. That’s right; Irving, a grown, adult human, thinks that the earth is flat. He ostensibly believes that there is an end to this planet, a ledge to which one will come if one walks far enough. A cliff one could feasibly throw oneself off of and plummet — float? — into the depths of space below.
Here is Irving doubling down on his assertion:
Kyrie Irving was trending on Twitter today because he believes the Earth is flat. I asked him about it. pic.twitter.com/ODe9aP9qmK— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) February 18, 2017
To paraphrase: Irving says yes, he’s seen that the news he thinks the earth is flat is causing quite a stir. Then the reporter is like (and I’m paraphrasing here) okay, cool, but you’ve seen pictures of the earth, right? Like, you’ve seen that it is, for all intents and purposes, round?
“I’ve seen a lot of things that my educational system has said that was real turned out to be completely fake,” Irving says.
Irving makes a good point: A lot of people seem to have been taught that Eli Whitney was black, so maybe we can’t trust our schools at all. Do I think the earth is flat? No. But I’d be lying if there isn’t a little part of me that’s like, “...but it could be.”
Listen, all I’m saying is that we’re living in a post-truth world, okay? It’s widely understood that all news is FAKE NEWS now and that no one, no one, can be trusted to get their facts, alternate or not, straight. Reporters are the enemy of the American people. Global warming isn’t real. The moon landing was probably faked on a sound stage in Hollywood.
But, aside from my controversial hypothesis that maybe, just maybe, Irving is right and the earth is flat, and that maybe he really does believe it, I have another thought. In fact, it’s more of a conspiracy theory about Irving’s conspiracy theory.
I think there’s a good chance Irving is trolling us.
I don’t want to come out and say this with certainty, because that would be saying I don’t believe Irving. And if he says he thinks the earth is flat, I guess we have to take that at face value. But here is my evidence for thinking there’s a chance that Irving is messing with us.
- If I were an NBA player, I’d troll everyone all the time. As someone who writes for a sports website, I know how quick sports websites are to pick up the quirky things athletes say. It would therefore be my life’s mission, as a professional basketball player, to spout nonsense and then watch the world believe that I believe it. When I do it it’s called “being a bad journalist,” but Irving is a free man, and can disseminate false information to mess with the masses as he pleases. Why wouldn’t you use your huge platform to prank the country constantly?
- Here are some theories I’d propagate if I were a star, just to get the people going: Judge Judy should be on the Supreme Court (that sounds a lot less ridiculous that it used to, given that Donald Trump of The Apprentice fame is our president, but whatever), unicorns are just narwhal whales with legs and are therefore absolutely real, the band O.A.R. is the greatest musical act of the last six decades, Anna Nicole Smith isn’t actually dead, pigeons are just doves covered in soot, I think I know the guy sitting in the coffee shop next to me right now but I can’t be sure, time is an illusion, Super Bowl 51 was rigged, the Warriors didn’t actually blow a 3-1 lead, and Segways are stil the future of transportation.
- Oh, I almost forgot: Maybe Stevie Wonder isn’t blind, and there’s a good chance Tupac is not deceased but is instead living in Cuba, smoking cigars, driving cars from the 50s.
- NBA conspiracy theories are a time-honored tradition. Jahlil Okafor (who also went to Duke, it’s worth noting) revealed that he thinks mermaids are real a few years ago*. There are Highlight Truthers who say plays are travels even when they definitely aren’t travels (even though Irving has been known to travel, so, *shrug emoji*). I’d argue it’s therefore actually Irving’s duty to continue this great aspect of the league and say that he thinks the earth is flat, even if he does, somewhere in his deepest heart of hearts, understand that it is round.
- Irving seems like a smart dude. Despite the nagging voice in the back of my head saying “what if?” I’m pretty sure the earth is round. I once did a virtual reality simulation of what it’s like to fly around the international space station, and when I looked down as I tried not to puke, I saw the earth from above. It was round. My education — arguably trash as it was — also leads me to believe the earth is round. Irving went to Duke, which is widely accepted as A Good School, so I have a hard time thinking that a guy who made it that far in his learning can ignore the overwhelming evidence that the earth is not flat.
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got. Kyrie, if you’re listening, feel free to spread around any of the examples in No. 3 as you please.
*This seems to be a popular opinion among athletes. William Hayes of the Rams said last year that he doesn’t believe in dinosaurs but he does believe in mermaids.