A year and a half after rattling the NBA world and beyond by saying he had no doubt that the Earth was flat, Boston Celtics star point guard Kyrie Irving says he regrets ever bringing up the topic.
Sep 30, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) drives to the basket past Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker (15) during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
“I’m sorry about all that,” Irving said Monday, speaking at the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Boston. He said he often hears from irate science teachers who tell him, “You know, I gotta reteach my whole curriculum!”
On NBA All-Star weekend in February 2017, Irving, then with the Cleveland Cavaliers, was a guest on a podcast along with teammates Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye, and he didn’t mince words about the shape of the world.
“This is not even a conspiracy. The Earth is flat. The Earth is flat. The Earth is flat,” Irving said adamantly. “All these things that particular groups, I won’t even pinpoint one group, that they almost offer up this education. … They lie to us. …
“If you really think about it from a landscape of the way we travel, the way we move, and the fact that — can you really think of us rotating around the sun and all planets aligned, rotating in specific dates, being perpendicular with what’s going on with these planets?” he said that day.
Jefferson that when Irving made the comment, he used his fingers to put word “planets” in air quotations.
His message on Monday seemed to be that he didn’t realize how much his comments would resonate.
“At the time, you’re like innocent in it, but you realize the effect of the power of voice. Even if you believe in that, just don’t come out and say that stuff — it’s for intimate conversations. … At the time, I just didn’t realize the effect … I’m sorry about all that.”
Irving stopped short of saying what he believes now, round vs. flat, but said, “At the time, I was huge into conspiracies. Everybody’s been there. Everybody’s been there like, ‘Whoa! What’s going on with our world?!”
—Field Level Media