It might seem totally bonkers, but it's true. NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal believes the Earth is flat. Maybe things look different when you're more than seven feet tall.
On the February edition of "The Big Podcast With Shaq" the four-time NBA champion was asked about current NBA star Kyrie Irving's assertion that the Earth is flat. "It's true," Shaq replied as jaws went slack across the world. "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. In school, first thing they teach us is, 'Oh, Columbus discovered America,' but when he got there, it was some fair-skinned people with the long hair smoking on the peace pipes. So, what does that tell you?"
Something about false equivalencies, possibly? Is it possible to phone a friend? 50/50?
It only got weirder as the segment dragged on. His reasoning was not entirely sound. "So, listen, I drive from coast to coast, and this shit is flat to me," Shaq said. "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?"
He continued, "You mean to tell me that China is under us? China is under us? It's not. The world is flat."
Earth-shattering stuff from the man who earned the nickname The Big Aristotle somewhere along his career. "Satellite imagery could be drawn and made up," he added
Being a conspiracy theorist is this spring's latest trend. Everyone is wearing it. Irving, who has also said he can control his dreams, repeatedly asserted the Earth is flat before this season's All-Star Game. Draymond Green wouldn't fully support the theory, but definitely thinks it's possible. Wilson Chandler is also a part of that chorus.
It's a small group or tinfoil hat wearers, but it has been prominent enough that NBA commissioner Adam Silver came out in February to say he believes the Earth is indeed a sphere.
The science isn't really out on this one, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion. You could go with people who study this or a rapping kung-fu genie who makes a good point about the buildings in Atlanta. Look at them!
O'Neal dropped by The Art of Charm podcast in an episode released Thursday to clear up his comments. The man of a thousand nicknames says it was all a joke.
"I said jokingly, that when I’m in my bus and I drive from Florida to California, which I do every summer, it seems to be flat," O'Neal started. "When I’m in my plane, and we’re getting ready to land, and I open up the window, and I’m looking at all the land that we’re flying over, it seems to be flat.
"This world we live in, people take things way too seriously. But I’m going to give the people answers to my test. Knowing that I’m a funny guy, if something seems controversial or boom, boom, boom, I’ve got to have my funny points on, right? So now, once I have my funny points on, you should eradicate and get rid of all your negative thoughts, right? That’s what you should do when you hear a Shaquille O’Neal statement, okay? …when I want you to take me seriously, you will know by the tone of my voice that I’m being serious." Maybe it's the deep timbre of the Steel star's voice that got everyone going, but his humor seems to have been lost on most, including the co-hosts of his own podcast.
"I was just joking, people. The earth is not round, it’s flat. I mean, the earth is not flat, it’s round," he finished in a probably joking voice. The man has spoken. Everyone is in stitches.
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