5 things we learned from J.J. Redick’s conversation with Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving. J.J. Redick. 1 a.m. London.
The scene is set for an interesting discussion between the two former Duke Blue Devils, and boy, did it deliver. Following Boston’s 114-103 victory over Philadelphia at the O2 area, 76ers guard Redick hosted his opponent, and friend, Irving for the latest episode of his self-titled podcast.
The pair touched on a number of subjects, including conspiracy theories, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, basketball skills, and Irving’s trade to the Celtics.
Here’s what we learned from their conversation:
Instagram videos sparked Irving’s quest for a deeper understanding about the Earth.
The first topic covered was, of course, Irving’s infamous flat Earth beliefs.
The 25-year-old maintained his proclamation that the Earth is flat was simply a way of encouraging others to engage in their own research — a notion that he had previously expressed during a podcast with Geno Auriemma.
“I wasn’t trying to convince people that the world is flat. That’s what everyone took it as, which is fine,” Irving told Redick. “The actual intent behind it was just like, ‘do your own research,’ you know what I mean? That’s it. There are a lot of things that were just told to me, and I was just like, ‘Oh, OK.'”
Irving revealed his concept of a flat Earth initially originated from watching videos on Instagram. He explained that he felt compelled to blurt out, “Flat Earth, man! It’s a conspiracy theory. They want to get us,” after watching clips that purported to convey “the truth” and explain how the horizon evens out in a way that is only possible on a flat Earth.
While Redick commended Irving for his ability to question authority and figure things out for himself, he was also very curious about what accounts are filling Irving’s Instagram feed.
“Some of the pages that I follow, they’ll actually list some of the laws, and some of the things that have transpired throughout history,” Irving said. “They’ll just give it to you almost like a History Channel of other things that aren’t on History Channel.”
Calling that type of knowledge “specific details [he] was missing in life,” Irving said the pages share information on a variety of topics, such as “the government, geo-engineering, and chem-trails.”
“It just makes you think,” he said. “That was the beautiful thing about it. It actually made me think twice about shit.”
On other conspiracy theories: Redick presented a pair of conspiracy theories that he’s recently been looking into as well. After watching the 9/11 documentary, Loose Change, he said he’s not entirely convinced that the terrorist attacks were an inside job, but he certainly found the film “thought-provoking.”
The 33-year-old also has begun to question the existence of dinosaurs, namely because the word, “dinosaur,” didn’t exist until 1842 and archeologists have yet to discover a 100-percent intact fossil.
“I’m with you on that,” Irving said. “People think it’s an idea. When you actually follow that idea and back it up with research of your own, you almost are like convincing yourself, ‘This didn’t happen.'”
On the reaction from the public: What bothers Irving the most are still the concerns he had voiced in his earlier conversation with Auriemma: “the separation that is created from you to other people who think different things.”
“Everyone will just tirade you,” he told Redick, who mentioned the guard received “a lot of heat” for his takes. “Automatically, you’re put in this other society.”
Irving said he’s hasn’t stayed tight-lipped about it and will continue to push himself to “actually go and try to do the research on the scientific side.”
“For me, it’s a lonely road sometimes,” he shared. “But it’s always given with support from people that I actually try to get this knowledge from and converse with. So I don’t just limit myself in being in the circle of certain beliefs.”
Irving has been seeing an all-seeing eye for six months.
In response to a new Taco Bell commercial, Irving said individuals are taught to be afraid of the “all-seeing eye,” what it means, and where it comes from. He claimed the mysterious symbol is designed to instill fear in those who are unfamiliar with its origins and significance.
“I’ve been seeing all-seeing eye for six months now, like all the time,” he revealed. “People have naturally just been afraid of it. They don’t know what it means.”
Irving shared that spiritual alchemy has become a much bigger component of his life, as he’s become more aware of the seven (or eight) chakras of the body and the third eye positioned in the middle of one’s forehead. Since taking up meditation more seriously, he believes he has been able to become not only more enriched in knowledge but also more enriched in his soul.
According to Irving, there is more to life than “the physical realm” he lives and exists in. His spiritual involvement has helped him realize that a physical world is just one of several available to him. And it helped connect him to Nikola Tesla and other like-minded individuals throughout history.
“Something that they said was so thought-provoking that they went from being a genius to a crazy person,” he explained. “Society just exorcised them and said, ‘No, we don’t want to believe anything you say anymore, and you’re a crazy person.'”
Irving also gave a shoutout to actor Jim Carrey for his recent red carpet interview during New York Fashion Week.
Both Redick and Irving were members of Duke’s last-standing secret society.
Although their college careers took very different paths — Irving played 11 games, while Redick played four years — there is a common bond linking the two.
“A lot of people don’t know this, and I’m not sure if we’re gonna get in trouble for talking about this,” Redick said, before disclosing he and Irving are both members of the last-standing secret society at Duke.
The former Blue Devils spoke very highly of their respective tenures in North Carolina and of head coach Mike Krzyzewksi, who is currently in his 38th season.
“He was on me, but he gave me a sense of freedom,” Irving said. “Kyrie, ‘You gotta do this, this, and this.’ He would say it with conviction. And then other times, he would put his arm around me, and be like ‘OK, I understand you’re a freshmen, but these are things you have to learn and do to get better.'”
Redick believes Irving has three NBA superpowers.
While Redick believes most high-caliber players in the league have a special superpower, he says Irving has three: being “a motherf—– shooting the ball,” being “the best finisher under the rim,” and having one of, if not, the best handle.
Out of all the skills in the NBA, Redick said he would take Irving’s handle any day.
“Because you have that superpower, you’re never not in control,” he explained. “Because at the back of your mind, you know that you can bring that out at any time and get anywhere you want to go.”
While it might look effortless now, Irving explained that developing his handle required a lot of work growing up. He didn’t practice two-ball drills or use tennis balls for reaction training. All he did was take “specific moves and add combination after combination after combination to be prepared for any situation.”
Not reaching his father’s height, along with other factors of his physique, helped Irving hone and leverage his craft differently.
“I wasn’t the quickest, I wasn’t the most athletic, I wasn’t able to finish over the rim, so I had to figure out how to get around the floor while still being effective in small spaces as well as seeing the court from a wide perspective.” he explained. “I have to be able to shoot, I have to be able to handle, and then I have to be able to have a sense of just randomness, of being in control but seeming out of control to be able to kinda succeed past some of my opponents. I had to be unpredictable.”
Once he had his handle, Irving said the next step was tightening up his game so that he could do things beyond finishing at the rim. He emphasized the importance of having options and having the guts to either take those shots or make those passes.
Irving still remembers a shot his dad showed him in eighth grade.
Irving’s father, Drederick, undoubtedly played a influential role in both his basketball career and upbringing. To this day, Irving can recall the afternoon when his dad showed him a game-changing shot to mix into his growing repertoire.
Still wearing his slacks and dress shoes, Drederick demonstrated a layup that required Irving to “show it with [his] left, bring it down, scoop it, and finish with [his] right.” But as a teenager, Irving said he didn’t have the hang time or the athleticism to execute the move the way he wanted.
Drederick, however, insisted the shot would ultimately be effective, so Irving worked on it — despite the fact his dad thought he never practiced.
“He frickin’ never thought I was working on my game,” Irving recalled. “He thought he would come home, and I would run outside like when he came. I was like, ‘Dad, how selfish of you? To think that I cared enough about you coming home to see me work out? To think that I cared about your judgement that much about me working on my game?”
He, nevertheless, continued to work on that shot. As it progressed, he began to incorporate the move into different actions, including off of pivots and with a Euro step. Soon enough, the shot was becoming a staple to his game.
“It started developing into a package,” Irving said. “And then I started curating that.”