Kyrie Irving said his incorrect assessment that the Earth is flat was merely an "exploitation tactic" meant to test everybody's reaction.
He backtracked on that statement during Monday's interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub's Toucher and Rich (via CBS Boston).
"Look, look. Here it is. All I want to do is be able to have that open conversation," Irving said. "It was all an exploitation tactic. It literally spun the world—your guys' world—it spun it into a frenzy and proved exactly what I thought it would do in terms of how all this works.
"It created a division, or, literally stand up there and let all these people threw tomatoes at me, or have somebody think I’m somehow a different intellectual person because I believe that the Earth is flat and you think the world is round. It created exactly that."
He elaborated on his latest comments.
"It became like, because I think different, does that knock my intellectual capacity or the fact that I can think different things than you?" Irving asked. "That was the intent behind it. Do your own research—don't come to me and ask me. At the end of the day, you’re going to feel and believe the way you want to feel. But don't knock my life over that.
"When I do something, I know my intent. And it proved what I thought it would."
Even if it was a social experiment, it seems some people may have taken him seriously.
Middle school teacher Nick Gurol told NPR's Avi Wolfman-Arent that the point guard's comments misled his students.
"And immediately I start to panic," Gurol said. "How have I failed these kids so badly they think the Earth is flat just because a basketball player says it?"
It's possible Irving is just trying to save face, though he didn't actually say in the interview he believes the Earth is round.
Regardless of what he thinks, Irving's suggestion for people to do their own research seems a sound one.