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Kyrie Irving thinks the Earth is flat

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers teammates Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye host a podcast on the team's website, and the most recent installation Friday veered into conspiracy theory territory, including the JFK assassination, the existence of aliens, and whether the world is flat.

Well, count Kyrie Irving among those who think that Earth isn't round.

"This is not even a conspiracy theory," Irving said, not in a joking manner. "The Earth is flat."

As Jefferson, Frye, and Cavs broadcaster Allie Clifton gave the All-Star point guard the gears over his loaded statement, Irving dug in. "It's right in front of our faces," he said. "I'm telling you, it’s right in front of our faces. They lie to us."

Irving didn't offer a theory on who "they" are, although there's a significant movement of people who believe the planet is in fact flat, despite all evidence to the contrary and the protestations of astronauts, physicists, scientists, pilots, meteorologists, or just about any other "ist."

Denver Nuggets forward later Wilson Chandler chimed in on Twitter, agreeing with Irving:

An key ingredient in this doubt is that a substantial number of people believe agencies like NASA have staged space exploration, even surmising the 1969 moon landing was filmed on a Hollywood sound stage.

"What I've been taught is that the earth is round," Irving added. "But 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 ... there is no concrete information except for the information that they're giving us."

On Friday in New Orleans, Irving doubled down on his comments, saying people should study things and decide for themselves.

As someone who attended an elite educational institution like Duke, it's heartening to see Irving employing critical thought. However, there's a far more serious issue at play here, as recent political events have demonstrated: Many people are choosing to base themselves in the reality that best suits their beliefs, regardless of how much evidence exists to the contrary.

While it's amusing that multimillionaires like Irving and Chandler are willing to buy a bill of goods that was debunked a century ago, debates over less-trivial, far more human issues are the sort of thing that serve as seeds for global turmoil.

- With h/t to SI

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