Kyrie Irving famously said he believes the Earth is flat. We know that spurred on a never-ending meme.
But did his motivation for perpetuating that belief stem from a lack of attention?
In his introductory press conference with the Celtics on Friday, Irving said his appreciation for the world “goes deeper than a lot of people realize.” Up until his flat-Earth theory made the rounds on social media, few knew what was going on in his mind.
Kyrie said this: 'My appreciation for the world goes deeper than I think a lot of people realize.'— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) September 1, 2017
But according to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, Irving’s desire to express himself was nothing new. Irving always wanted to say something about different social issues. Media members, though, only wanted LeBron James’s opinion, which bugged Irving.
It drove Kyrie nuts that we didn't care what he had to say about politics, racial and social issues. Only LeBron— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) September 1, 2017
When Irving popped up on The Road Trippin’ podcast with Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye during the All-Star break, he broke social media with his belief of a flat Earth versus a round one. His stance went viral in a matter of moments, giving the 25-year-old more off-court attention than he’d gotten in the past.
It sounds like that was the whole point.
That's why the whole 'flat Earth' thing happened. Kyrie said something dumb on a podcast, and suddenly everyone cared— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) September 1, 2017
Then, and only then, did he make it on national TV for a reason not relating to sports:
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
Was it Irving’s master plan all along to relay a ridiculous view he never believed on purpose? Was it simply one big ploy for attention directed at the media and public who buzzed around James only?
We’ll never know. The one thing we know for sure: It worked. Irving’s flat Earth comments certainly got him attention, for better or worse.