NEW ORLEANS – Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving is likely out for the All-Star Game and beyond after being placed into the NBA’s concussion protocol due to making a series of troubling and insane statements leading up to the game.

On Friday, the 24-year old Duke product spoke on a podcast about his beliefs that Earth is flat despite overwhelming evidence against that absurdity, and then double-downed on a flat Earth with reporters later that night. But while there are some who share his beliefs throughout the world, fueled in recent years by Internet conspiracy theories and misinformation, Irving went completely off the rails and alarmed friends when he stressed early this morning that basketballs are also flat.

“It’s funny to me that you trust that basketballs are a sphere just because you’ve seen pictures of them looking round,” Irving told teammate LeBron James. “Those are doctored pictures to brainwash you.”

“The f- … what?” said James. “What the hell are you talking about?”

“Basketballs,” insisted Irving. “They’re flat.”

“They’re not flat, idiot,” said James, picking up a ball, spinning it around and then dribbling it on the floor. “They’re circular. A sphere. It’s a ball. What is wrong with you?”

“Flat, flat, flat,” Iriving said, grabbing the ball and trying to throw it at the hoop like a frisbee. The ball clanged wildly off the side of the backboard and bounced out of bounds. “If the Earth was actually spinning a thousand miles an hour, I wouldn’t have been able to shoot that flat ball because it would have been blown out of the air by the strong winds. Use your mind.”

Irving continued talking about his flat ball theory — “If basketballs are round, why can I stand on one,” he asked, briefly balancing on a ball with one foot before falling down — while James spoke quietly to a team trainer and then led Irving away with the help of other medical staffers.

“Oh, yeah? You’re taking me to the psych hospital?” Irving asked. “Joke’s on you. You’ll never get me there in your ambulance. All the tires are flat!”

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