The NBA Auto-Fill Game: Answering the Internet's Biggest Kyrie Irving Questions

Grant Hughes@@gt_hughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistSeptember 1, 2017

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12:  Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates during the game against the Golden State Warriors in Game Five of the 2017 NBA Finals on June 12, 2017 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Bruce Yeung/NBAE via Getty Images)
Bruce Yeung/Getty Images

Kyrie Irving might be the newsiest NBA player out there right now—the centerpiece of a massive trade between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers that could shift the balance of power in the Eastern Conference.

You'd think people would be wondering about the mechanics of the deal, held up more than a week because of Isaiah Thomas' hip injury. Or the oddity of two East rivals dealing with each other. Or whether Irving, long a chucker, can develop as a playmaker in Boston's free-flowing offensive system.

But it turns out people are into stranger stuff when it comes to Irving, which we know from scanning the autocomplete results when you type his name into Yahoo's search engine. The results that pop up reflect some seriously weird public fixations.

Matt Lieb, originator of the "How come...?" inquiry, is back to help us answer the ridiculous questions you people are asking about Irving.


Question 1: How Kyrie Irving...got ball handles with a plastic bag?

Credit: Yahoo

Grant Hughes: The real intrigue of this exercise is always in piecing together what kind of mouth-breathing goof asks these questions. Or, rather, how many mouth-breathing goofs have to ask something similar for it to pop up at the top of the autofill list. I won't lie; it makes me feel superior. "I don't ask dumb questions," I tell myself, definitely breathing through my nose like a normal human.

But after laughing internally—chortling, if I'm honest—at the poor saps asking something so ridiculous, I learned something. I was wrong. I'm not afraid to admit it. Because this is a real thing, this plastic bag nonsense. I looked it up.

Needless to say, the real-world existence of Kyrie's plastic bag ball-handling drill has forced some personal re-evaluations. What else am I wrong about? What else do I not know?

As far as Irving goes, this probably means I'm ignorant of several other training methods. I suspect he plays real-life Frogger, dribbling several basketballs at once through traffic, crossing busy intersections and risking his life in pursuit of #sickhandles. He probably pays a whole staff to leap out of closets in his house trying to scare him so he becomes immune to fear. Because a man can only shake fools if he is never shook, according to Sun Tzu's The Art of War...I think.

I also imagine he plays pickup while wearing the prop claws from Edward Scissorhands because "if you can get a feel for the ball in these (and not sever the carotid arteries of your defender, nearby officials or onlookers), you can get a feel for anything."

As a reminder of my own ignorance, I'm typing this with plastic bags over my hands. The experience has been sweatier than I can possibly explain.


Matt Lieb: OK, I'll be real with you: It was I who Yahoo'd this question over and over until it became one of the most asked on Yahoo. Why would I do such a thing? Because I am sick and tired of every question about Kyrie Irving being "How Kyrie Irving thinks the earth is flat?" or "How Kyrie Irving explain gravity tho?" or any number of condescending questions about Kyrie's admission that he doesn't believe in a spherical globe.

"Ha ha ha, Kyrie Irving believes in medieval science lol what a dummy!" NOT COOL, INTERNET!

You should never clown on a man because of his personal beliefs. That is called intolerance, and it is extremely offensive. Instead, you should clown on Kyrie because he practices his ball handling skills by wrapping a basketball in a plastic bag. What even is that? What a stooge! This level of madness should be punishable by suspension, excessive fining or exile to some remote and uninhabitable island where they don't even have plastic bags.

See? That is how you clown on someone without being offensive. So let's all just move on from the whole Kyrie Irving flat earth stuff OK?


Question 2: Why does Kyrie Irving...think the earth is flat?

Credit: Yahoo

ML: I suppose there is no avoiding this question, no matter how much I have tried. The people demand to know why Kyrie Irving—a professional basketball player who is decidedly not a physicist, astronomer or scientist of any kind—believes that the earth is flat.

As I stated previously, I believe it is wrong to make fun of someone for their beliefs, no matter how ridiculous those beliefs are to the masses. In order to be sensitive to our readers who might share similarly ridiculous beliefs, here are a few guesses as to why Kyrie Irving believes the earth is flat:


1. Because LeBron James told him so.

Preaching, mid-game, about the Earth's flatness.
Preaching, mid-game, about the Earth's flatness.Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

When LeBron James returned to Cleveland in the undecisioning, he stated "I see myself as a mentor now," specifically referring to mentoring Kyrie. Basically, James played Plato to Kyrie's Aristotle. And if you know anything about Plato and Aristotle, you probably know that both were some of the first "round earthers," the "flat earthers" of their time.

Plato and Aristotle were considered to be fools by the masses, but they remained steadfast in their beliefs and traveled throughout ancient Greece giving scientific lectures on their round-earth theory, the YouTube videos of their time. And now we all believe in the round earth. So, who's the fool now? (Possible answer: Still us, because the earth is actually flat.)


2. Because Kyrie saw a really convincing YouTube video.

After doing some searching on YouTube, I can conclusively say the internet is jam-packed with videos claiming to prove the earth is flat. I'm not talking about one or two little videos, I'm talking about a literal metric crapload of videos.

Of course, I haven't actually watched any of this ridiculousness as I am fairly certain that people who insist on affixing "so-called" before the word "astronaut" should not be taken seriously. But you never know unless you try, so I'm just gonna dive in for a moment. Just to see.


3. Because the earth actually is flat, and we are all sheeple.

OK y'all, I've been watching hours of evidence on YouTube and honestly, maybe Kyrie isn't so crazy after all. I mean, let's see if you can debunk this video with your so-called science:

I think we have to explore the possibility that we are asking the wrong question. We shouldn't be asking "Why does Kyrie Irving think the earth is flat?" We should be asking "Why does we think the earth isn't flat?" As of now, I don't know why we does.


GH: Do you know what this (flat?) world needs during these difficult times of fractured ideology and discord, Matt?

A sense of intellectual whimsy. A curious spirit that, rather than accepting thousands of years of scientific research and easily provable facts like a coward, bravely asks in the face of indisputable truth, "Yeah, but, like, what if that's all wrong? I mean, how do we really know anything?"

Now, more than ever, it's vital to stand against the tyranny of reason. Not violently, but with the hazy, wholly unexamined, wildly irresponsible convictions of a college freshman spending his first evening in a black-lit dorm room.

Is the earth flat? I don't know, man. But I'm not letting any teachers, researchers or an entire scientific community tell me it isn't.

Neither is Kyrie, and THAT is why he's a hero.


Question 3: How does Kyrie Irving...hoverboard?

Credit: Yahoo

GH: I want to know the answer to all of these questions...almost as much as I want people who don't know the difference between "where" and "wear" forced to re-enroll in second grade.

But we have to go with the hoverboard one, right?

My theory: trick question propagated by round earthers to taint Irving's web presence and heft in the scientific community. Quite obviously, he does not and cannot use a hoverboard because if he did, he'd be falling into the round earth trap. Real hoverboards operate on principles of magnetic repulsion; two like poles—one in the earth and one in the board—push away from each other and, boom, levitation.

But since the earth has no poles, hoverboards can't exist. And Kyrie sure as hell can't use one.

Nice try, search engine.


ML: I totally agree. This is obviously a trick question written by the so-called scientific quote-unquote community in order lure freethinkers like us back into the round/flat earth debate. I refuse to take the bait. Therefore, I will endeavor to answer all five questions without mentioning the shape of the earth or Kyrie's thoughts about the shape of the earth. If you leave that part out, you'll find that Kyrie is just a normal guy living a normal life:


How does Kyrie Irving shoot with his feet?

One leg at a time, just like everyone else.


How does Kyrie Irving put on his socks?

#factsonlyNathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

One leg at a time, just like everyone else.


How does Kyrie Irving hoverboard?

One leg at a time, just like everyone else.


How does Kyrie Irving where his compression?

This is actually two separate questions. The first is "how does Kyrie Irving?" to which the answer is "he just do."

And the second is "Where his compression?" which I assume is about how NASA's digital compression software is clear evidence of...I won't say what, but it rhymes with splat turf. Assuming we've got a case of where/wear confusion, then the question becomes "How does Kyrie Irving wear his compression?" to which the answer is "One leg at a time, just like everyone else."


How does Kyrie Irving shoot?

The earth is flat.


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