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NBA's Kyrie Irving says flat-Earth claim was an experiment

Commentary: The new Boston Celtic insists that when he said the Earth is flat, he was merely trolling. (Who will tell Neil DeGrasse Tyson?)

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Kyrie Irving

A well-rounded character.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

It was the shot heard round the world.

Or, rather along it.

In February, NBA star Kyrie Irving, then a Cleveland Cavalier, insisted the Earth was flat.

At the time, I feared he might be joking. However, he prolonged the science world's agony in March. Then, he declared that not only is the Earth flat but also that he controls his dreams.

His apparent views had enraged astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who begged Irving never to become head of any space agency. (Well, the qualifications for, say, head of NASA have broadened a lot.) 

On Monday, however, Irving, now a Boston Celtic, admitted he'd been having a little entertainment.

Appearing on 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Toucher & Rich" radio show, Irving confessed, "All I wanted to do is be able to have that open conversation."

Well, he certainly managed that. What, though, did he think it would achieve?

"It was all an exploitation tactic. It literally spinned (sic) the world -- your guys' world -- it spinned the world into a frenzy and proved exactly what I thought it would do in terms of how all this works, and it created a division."

Essentially, then, it was a Trumpist tactic?

He said it "let all these people throw 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."

He insisted it was all an experiment in seeing whether thinking differently will make other people think of you differently.

"It became like, because I think different, does that knock my intellectual capacity or the fact that I can think different things than you?" he explained.

Some might find a gray area here. They might say that given that the world is demonstrably basketball-shaped, thinking it isn't might suggest the thinker isn't, well, much of a thinker.

Irving, though, wants everyone to embrace their own science.

"Do your own research, don't come to me and ask me," he said. "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."

It would, indeed, be a noble world if we were all allowed to just think what we think. Sadly, not everyone -- even some of those in power -- agree with that sentiment.

Still, I stand with Irving and offer this utterly free thought: Irving's shot that beat the Golden State Warriors in the NBA finals Game 7 two years ago was clearly blown into the bucket by evil spirits who had magnetized the ball and the rim. (Disclosure: Warriors fan.)

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