Shaquille O'Neal: Earth Is Flat
This belief is circulating the NBA for some reason
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2017 10:30 AM CDT
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In this Dec. 22, 2016, file photo, retired Hall of Fame basketball player Shaquille O'Neal smiles as he talks to reporters during an NBA basketball news conference in Miami.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

(Newser) – Apparently there's a belief circulating in the NBA that the Earth is flat. Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers first revealed his flat-Earth beliefs back in February, and now retired basketball player Shaquille O'Neal has revealed he's on the same page. In an episode of his podcast broadcast late February but only recently picked up by the media, Shaq said, per Sports Illustrated: "It’s true. The Earth is flat. The Earth is flat. Yes, it is. Listen, there are three ways to manipulate the mind—what you read, what you see, and what you hear." He used an example involving Christopher Columbus, arguing that Columbus didn't really discover America because there were already "fair-skinned people" living here when Columbus arrived. Then he got into the real nitty gritty.

He explained that he drives from coast to coast, and it certainly seems flat to him: "I’m just saying. I drive from Florida to California all the time, and it’s flat to me. I do not go up and down at a 360-degree angle, and all that stuff about gravity, have you looked outside Atlanta lately and seen all these buildings? You mean to tell me that China is under us? China is under us? It’s not. The world is flat." Kenny Ducey at SI says that while he wants to believe this is all a joke, both Irving and O'Neal seem to be taking it seriously; Irving, for example, has continued to defend his beliefs. Ben Rohrbach at Yahoo Sports, who first uncovered the Shaq podcast, agrees that Irving is not kidding around (or trying to make some sort of point about "fake news," as NBA commissioner Adam Silver suggested), and points out that at least two other NBA players have agreed with him.

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