Shaquille O'Neal
Legendary NBA center Shaquille O’Neal. (John Raoux/Associated Press)

The hilarious debate of whether the Earth is round or flat has taken over the NBA world this season, with players such as Kyrie Irving, Draymond Green and Wilson Chandler stirring up the talk by confidently claiming the planet we live on is flat.

Later, it was Kyrie Irving’s fellow Cavs teammate Richard Jefferson that wore a T-shirt saying “Flat World Champions”, and Washington Post reporter Tim Bontemps asking commissioner Adam Silver if he believed the world was flat at a press conference.

And now, it’s NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal joining the discussion in the video below:

“I drive coast to coast, and this sh– is flat to me,” O’Neal said. “I drive from Florida to California all the time, and it’s flat to me.”

The discussion of whether the Earth is round or flat started off as a joke — a way to mess with the media — and gradually became one of the most talked about subjects this season.

Regardless of whether O’Neal is joking or serious, his addition to the topic is still certainly hilarious.

UPDATE: Shaq, as some expected, was indeed joking about his flat earth theory. He said it on Jordan Harbinger’s “The Art of Charm” podcast.

(h/t to Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo’s ‘Ball Don’t Lie’ for the transcription)

Harbinger: “What’s going on with the flat Earth thing? Are you just messing with everybody with that?”
O’Neal: “No, the Earth is flat. Would you like to hear my theory?”

Harbinger: “Yeah, tell me about it.”

O’Neal: “The first part of the theory is, I’m joking, you idiots. 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.”

“This world we live in, people take things too seriously, but I’m going to give the people answers to my test,” he said. “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.”

“No, I don’t think that,” O’Neal told Harbinger of a flat Earth. “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.”

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