Shaquille O'Neal recants his stance on the Earth being flat: 'I'm joking, you idiots'

Emmett Knowlton
Shaq

Scott Halleran/Getty


One of the more perplexing storylines of the current NBA season is the growing number of professional basketball players claiming to believe that the earth is flat. 

Among the flat-Earth truthers are Kyrie Irving, Wilson Chandler, and — most recently — Shaquille O'Neal. 

Actually, scratch that last one. 

On Thursday, O'Neal clarified his previous comments about the earth's shape by saying that he was joking all along. 

"The first part of the theory is, I’m joking, you idiots," O'Neal said on Jordan Harbinger's podcast, "The Art of Charm." 

"That’s the first part of the theory. The second part is, 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. 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."

The second part is in reference to O'Neal's initial comments about the Earth supposedly being flat. That's, uh, quite an elaborate joke!

He continued his attempts to clarify the matter (via Yahoo):

"This world we live in, people take things 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, you’ve got to have my funny points on, right? So now, once you have my funny points on, that 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, OK? You should know that he has funny points right over here, and what did he say? Boom, boom, boom, add the funny points. You either laugh or you don’t laugh, but don’t take me seriously. When I want you to take me seriously, you will know by the tone of my voice that I’m being serious."

This, while rather confusing, seems to be Shaq saying that the general public should have known he was joking about the Earth being flat because he's Shaq. 

Anyhow, He wasn't done from there. From Yahoo:

"So, we live in a world today — and Denzel Washington said it best — there’s too much information right now. There’s too much going on, so if somebody says something and they title it and they send it out, by the time it gets to another guy and another guy, it’s all messed up, so people actually really believed I was serious when I said that. We actually had people call into the office."

To clarify: this discussion began when Hall of Fame basketball player Shaquille O'Neal was asked whether or not he thought Earth was flat. Which, just to be clear one last time, Shaq knows is not true!

"No, I don’t think that. It was a joke, OK? So know that when Shaquille O’Neal says something, 80 percent of the time I’m being humorous, and it is a joke. And 20 percent of the time, I’m being serious, but when I’m being serious, you’ll know. You want to see me, seriously? See me and Charles Barkley going back and forth on TNT. That’s when I’m mad and when I’m serious. Other than that, you’re not going to get that out of me, so I was just joking people. The Earth is not round, it’s flat. I mean, the Earth is not flat, it’s round."

Shaq, you are correct. The earth is not flat. 

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