It doesn’t appear that Kyrie Irving was serious when he recently said that he thinks the Earth is flat. To a noteworthy Cavaliers teammate, it doesn’t really matter — he’ll have the guard’s back either way.
“Kyrie is my little brother,” LeBron James said Saturday (via Bleacher Report’s Dave Schilling). “If he decides the Earth is flat, that’s okay.”
James and Irving have been having some fun with the flat-Earth remarks, which dominated sports Twitter on Saturday. “The guys were clearly having a good time winding us up,” Schilling wrote. “It was smiles, hearty chuckles and the subtle awareness that they could basically say anything and we’d leap back to our seats to tweet about it.”
“It would be scientifically impossible, which I’m totally aware of that,” Irving said Saturday at a practice for Sunday’s All-Star Game. “I just feel like the fact it’s even a conversation is hilarious. That that could actually be news. It’s hilarious.”
Before Irving indicated that he was performing a troll job, his comments were deemed newsworthy enough that no less than NBA Commissioner Adam Silver discussed them at a news conference. “Kyrie and I went to the same college [Duke],” Silver said, drawing laughs. “He may have taken some different courses than I did.
“But in all seriousness, as he made clear today, he was trying to be provocative, and I think it was effective. I think it was a larger comment on the sort of so-called fake news debate that’s going on in our society right now in terms of what’s reported, and it led to an interesting discussion.
“But, personally,” Silver added, just in case anyone still needed some clarity on where he stood, “I believe the world is round.”
At least one fellow all-star seemed to be giving Irving’s assertion some credence, or at least not dismissing out of hand the possibility that the Earth could, in fact, be flat. “I’m rocking with Ky,” Draymond Green said (via the San Jose Mercury News). “. . . How do we stand on the Earth if it’s round?”
“I haven’t heard anything Ky said, so I’m not sure what his argument was,” the Golden State forward added. “But think about that. They said we’ve got pictures of it being round. But I can take my panoramic camera right now and make this room round. So you can’t tell me a picture makes it round.”
Green’s argument recalls that of Rams defensive lineman William Hayes, who became a memorable figure on last year’s season of “Hard Knocks” for insisting that dinosaurs never existed. “With these bones, it’s crazy because man has never seen a dinosaur, we can agree on that, right?” he said to ESPN in 2015. “But we know exactly how to put these bones together?”
From the sound of it, James is not buying into any flat-Earth theories, but wants to make it clear how much he values having Irving on his side in Cleveland. As well he should, given that Irving has not only played at an all-star level but hit arguably the biggest shot in the Cavs’ history, when he drained a three-pointer in the final minute of Game 7 that helped give the franchise its first NBA Finals triumph.
As far as Cleveland fans are concerned, that was the shot heard ’round the world. (Or was it just across the world?)