Kyrie Irving vs Max Kellerman: How Kellerman’s Insults Demonstrate Increasing Worry About Flat Earth Popularity


Worldwide, flat earth belief has increased tremendously over the past decade. The availability of information on the internet, combined with an already established question mark over the veracity of the moon landings back in the 60’s, among a seemingly fringe group of people, has seen the amount of research and theories placed into the flatness of the earth, multiply exponentially, causing the numbers of those who believe in it to, ‘skyrocket’. Pardon the pun.

Perhaps the most famous ‘flat earther’ is Kyrie Irving. The story about his beliefs broke earlier this year, and some of his fellow NBA players, confirmed it. Back then, Kellerman insinuated that only idiots believe the earth is flat, but that since Kyrie was “intelligent” there was no way the story was true; that he must have been ‘trolling’ everybody. After First Take’s September 18th interview, Kellerman seems to have done a complete 180, not about flat earthers, but about Kyrie’s intelligence.

During the September 19th show of First Take, in a debate with Stephen A. Smith and Will Cain, reacting to the Kyrie Interview the day before, Kellerman made several remarks questioning Irving’s intelligence, using Irving’s belief in the flat Earth as a stick to beat him with. All of a sudden, rather conveniently, Kellerman was now convinced that Kyrie Irving did believe in the flatness of the earth, (as opposed to when the story first broke), which to Kellerman, confirms Kyrie’s lack of intelligence.

In responding to a comment by Will Cain who said of Kyrie “By the way, he knows what second banana means; another condescending absurd…” Kellerman cut him off to question sarcastically, whether or not Kyrie really understood the “second banana” expression, since he believes in the flatness of earth. ” I don’t know Will. Do you think he does? He thinks the world is flat.”

Will Cain was merely commenting in Kyrie’s interview the day before, criticizing him, for not being more forthright with his responses, especially to questions concerning LeBron James. Kellerman, on the other hand, saw Cain’s criticism as an opportunity to denigrate belief in the flatness of earth, even though the interview wasn’t about that.

Speaking over Will Cain’s “He knows” response to his facetious question, Kellerman reiterates; “He thinks the Earth is flat! Are you sure he knows what second banana means?” After Cain repeats his initial answer, Kellerman, interjecting once more said of Irving; “He made two claims: that the Earth is not round and that he doesn’t know what second banana means.”

Here, Kellerman, beyond being smug, was deliberately dishonest with his criticism of Irving. First of all, Irving never spoke about his belief in Earth’s flatness during his interview with Kellerman. Yet Kellerman stated that Irving “made two claims”, insinuating that he made both of those claims, while on First Take; But that’s not true. Secondly, Irving never said that the “Earth is not round”, as most people who believe the Earth is flat, also believe the Earth is round; especially those who believe based on what’s in the Bible.

A common misconception about people who believe the Earth is flat, is that they universally believe it’s a square or a rectangle; but that’s not true. The square flat earth theory, is usually pedaled by those who want to illustrate just how ludicrous the notion of the earth being flat is. But most people who believe in the flat Earth today, also believe that it is circular and not square. And as anyone who has done shapes in mathematics class knows, a circle is a flat surface. So to claim, without any evidence, that Irving believes the Earth is “not round”, is dishonest analysis and journalism on Kellerman’s part.

More importantly, Kellerman’s incessant inclusion of the Flat Earth and Kyrie’s Flat Earth belief, in a conversation that was supposed to be solely predicated on sports; more specifically NBA basketball; more specifically Kyrie Irving’s interview about his move away from the Cleveland Basketball franchise, highlights the mainstream’s real concern, that the Flat Earth movement is growing and is becoming more than just a fringe segment of society.

For many years, belief in the flatness of Earth, was so minuscule, the mainstream’s response to it was to ignore it. Its popularity is such now, their commentators and analysts, even in conversations about sports, feel compelled to shame those who believe in it. They can no longer afford to ignore it.


Dean Nestor

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