Kyrie Irving says ‘there is no real picture of Earth,’ questions moon landing

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Kyrie Irving says he believes the Earth is flat.

At best, Irving is playing the fool in order to convince others to question what’s told to them – a good lesson in the larger sense being applied insensibly and insufferably here. Whatever he’s doing, the Celtics guard is still at it.

Irving on Holding Court With Geno Auriemma:

The whole intent behind it, Coach, it wasn’t to bypass science. It wasn’t to have the ultimate intent of starting a rage and honestly be seen as this insane individual. Coach, it was, just when I started just seeing comments and things about just universal truths that I had known, I had questions. I had questions. I don’t necessarily know. I won’t sit here and say that I know. But when I started actually doing research on my own and figuring out that there is no real picture of Earth – there is not one picture of Earth. And we haven’t been back to the moon since 1961 or 1969. And you start, and then it becomes like conspiracies where you start thinking, OK, let me question this. And the separation, Coach, that I can’t stand is that because I think one particular way – not saying that it ever applies to me and you, because you understand I’m the same human being. But the way that it was kind of divided in terms of the separation of let’s just completely throw something away, an idea that maybe we may not know is true or not, but because he thinks different and he may think that the world is flat, then there’s a tirade of comments of who I am character-wise. It was literally the whole intent was just to open up for people to do their own research. That was the only intent. It wasn’t to, OK, let me figure out and go against science. Let me go against what I’ve been told and what’s right and all this stuff. It was just literally with the intent of just wake up and do your own research instead of actually assuming something that’s been told to you. Because I’ve been told a lot in terms of my history and facts and particular facts, and it’s been completely false.

Auriemma pressed Irving on the photos we’ve seen from space. Irving:

I’m saying, Coach, that you don’t even know if they’re real or not.

You tell me who filmed – I’m asking you like this. Do you know they filmed the actual spacecraft leaving from the moon, right? Who the hell is filming that? You tell me.

Also, I have a question. Why is it that the footprints that they saved, because they collected the footprints.

What’s his name? Was it Neil Armstrong? I don’t even know.

Literally, as simple as this: Why is it that the the steps – in terms of the pictures that they say he stepped on – why do they look completely different than the ones that are actually in the museum that he walked with? I just want to know. I just want to know these things. I have questions. I just want to know.

That’s all I want, is to open up and have that conversation.

I just wanted to have that conversation. That’s it. I wanted to actually know or ask other individuals, Bro – excuse me, Coach and Sue – do you really think that this actually happened? I don’t know. I don’t know, either. I just want to know. I just want to know.

Irving doesn’t actually want to know. If he did, it would have taken just a few minutes to find an article about how Apollo 17 – in 1972 – was filmed leaving the moon and another explaining that the footprints in question belonged to Buzz Aldrin, whose boot matched them.

And not that the self-righteous intellectual will believe it, but here are photos of the Earth:

Damian Lillard opposes idea of later NBA season start running into summer

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At the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference a few weeks back (although it feels like a lifetime ago), Atlanta  CEO Steve Koonin suggested the NBA should permanently shift its schedule to a mid-December start with the Finals running into August. The idea was to stop going head-to-head with the NFL and college football at the start of the season. Then the pushed back playoffs forced by the coronavirus have made that discussion more relevant. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has said everything is on the table.

Damian Lillard is not a fan of the idea.

He likes the schedule just the way it is, something he said during a video conference with the media on Tuesday, hat tip to Dwight Jaynes of NBC Sports Portland.

“I just don’t see it. I mean, the season starts when it starts now, then February all-star weekend, getting toward the end of the season in April and then getting into the playoffs. You get that early June Finals and then you get to go off into your summer…

“You get to enjoy real-time summer,” Lillard said. “Our break is into the summer and then you get to come back as summer is leaving. I think that’s been perfect…

“It’s been perfect for us,” Lillard said. “So, for that to change and for things to be pushed back, I’m definitely not a fan of that and I don’t see many guys being a fan of that.”

Lillard is not alone in thinking this way, but Silver is more open to change than most sports commissioners. That said, changes that break with long-standing traditions are hard to make a reality.

There would be a lot of questions around a schedule change. Would the ratings still be as high for a Finals series in the heart of the summer? The NBA season no longer would sync with the NCAA or international leagues’ schedules, leading to questions about the draft and timing for players who want to test the waters. There would need to be reworked television contracts, both regionally and nationally. It could make scheduling a challenge at arenas used to having more concerts and other events in the summer.

Plus, all of this would need to be negotiated with the players union — and Lillard speaks for a lot of players on this issue.

If the NBA could somehow convince players that starting later meant more money in their pocket, those union negotiations would take on a different tone. But would the move increase revenue? That’s not an easy sell.

With this NBA season likely running late, the start of next season could be pushed back, and this theory could get a little bit of a test. Or, the next season could be shortened a little to get the league back on its regular schedule.

Which would make Lillard happy.

Report: NBA deprioritizing playing regular-season games for local TV

Steve Kerr and LeBron James before NBA game
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The NBA is financially incentivized to play more regular-season games to satisfy local-TV contracts.

How does that square with resuming play – currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic – with a play-in tournament and playoffs?

It doesn’t.

Marc Berman of the New York Post:

According to one source, getting some teams to a magical number of 70 regular-season games had been a goal, but in the last week has taken on less of a priority.

This stoppage is going to cost the NBA a lot of money. There’s no way around that. Not every source of revenue can be preserved. It’s about finding the optimal setup.

Importantly, canceling games could allow the NBA to reduce player salaries through force majeure. Of course, the union would consider that action when negotiating how to proceed.

LeBron James advocated for playing some regular-season games before the playoffs so everyone could get back into shape. But Steve Kerr called it very unlikely the Warriors would play another regular-season game. Perhaps, playoff-bound teams like the Lakers will play tune-up regular-season games while Golden State – the only team officially eliminated from the playoff race before the hiatus – doesn’t. It’d be a little odd to have such different formats, though. (Then again, these are odd times).

Considering this report, we ought to give more credence to the idea that Kerr knows something about the NBA’s plan and that the regular season is finished.

Lakers update that all players ‘currently symptom-free of COVID-19’

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Nearly two weeks ago, the Lakers announced that two of their players tested positive for the coronavirus. “Both players are currently asymptomatic, in quarantine and under the care of the team’s physician… All players and members of the Lakers staff are being asked to continue to observe self-quarantine,” the Lakers said at that time.

On Tuesday, the team provided an update saying nobody on the team is showing any symptoms after a couple of weeks of quarantine.

“All Lakers players are currently symptom-free of COVID-19. The team will continue to follow the health and safety guidelines set by government officials, the Lakers and the NBA,” the statement said.

The Lakers’ players who tested positive were never publicly identified (in fitting with HIPAA regulations).

A total of 10 NBA players — plus five members of staff associated with teams — have tested positive for the virus that has upended life in the United States. None reportedly have had to be hospitalized. Players such as Marcus Smart and others have recovered and free from the virus.

The NBA remains suspended, with the league hoping to jump-start the playoffs in June, possibly with all the teams in one location.

Report: NBA won’t hold draft until after season

NBA draft
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The NBA draft is scheduled for June 25. Most expect that date to change as the coronavirus pandemic causes postponements around the world.

Apparently, the draft will come after the NBA season – whether the season is completed in a modified format or just cancelled.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

I think everybody in the league feels it’s almost impossible to have a draft if you still have a season that’s ongoing.

You can’t have a draft while teams are still playing. You can’t have some teams able to do trades because their season’s done and then some teams unable to do trades because they’re still playing.

It doesn’t strike me as difficult to hold the draft before the season ends. Teams wouldn’t be allowed to trade current players. The restriction would apply across the board, just like the interrupted pre-draft process. That’s not ideal, but compromises must be made amid this chaos.

Importantly, holding the draft sooner could appeal to both sides of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

It’d be an opportunity to hold a revenue-producing TV event. Obviously, drafted players wouldn’t attend a mass gathering. But with sports fans starved for content, people would watch the selections. A handshake with NBA commissioner Adam Silver is only a small part of the festivities.

The National Basketball Players Association should also push for an earlier draft. Prospects want information sooner so they can prepare for their next step – whether that’s the NBA, returning to college or playing overseas. That said, the union has bigger priorities than potential future members.

So, it’s easy to see why postponing the draft has gained momentum, even if that’s not a no-brainer solution.