Kyrie Irving recently announced that he wanted his actions do the talking, likely meaning he will no be as active with the media for the 2020-21 season.
While this announcement, in itself, is something for the media landscape to talk about, his potential absence from postgame pressers, interviews and other appearances is something that likely puts a frown on the faces of New York reporters, journalists, beat writers and more.
Perhaps in honor of his many quotable moments, popular sports statistics website Basketball Reference decided to add another nickname to the star player's profile.
To date, I have not heard anyone refer to Irving by this nickname, but the reference should be widely understood. World B. Free was a high-scoring guard for a number of teams throughout the 1970s and 1980s, remembered for his explosive offense just as much as his creative name, which he legally changed from "Lloyd Bernard Free" in 1981 due to a high school nickname. And, on the other side of the equation, Irving appeared on a 2017 episode of the "Road Trippin'' podcast with Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye and shared that he thought the Earth was flat.
“I’m telling you, it’s right in front of our faces,” Irving said (via Hayden Bird of Boston.com). “They lie to us.”
He has since apologized for the comments, according to NBA.com.
“To all the science teachers, everybody coming up to me like, `You know I’ve got to reteach my whole curriculum?’ I’m sorry,” Irving said at the Forbes 30 Under 30 summit in 2018. “I apologize. I apologize.”
Maybe the known conspiracy lover's nickname will stick, maybe it won't. But there are plenty of other alternatives, thanks to the creativity of social media users. Flat Mamba (h/t Reddit user solarscopez), Metta World Flat (h/t Reddit user Firetruckpants) and some others have cropped up since the nickname addition has gone viral.
Maybe this is a sign that in the possible absence of Kyrie Irving media appearances, the internet will continue to come through with all the content we need. As for the Basketball Reference nicknames, they'll keep rolling them out for our entertainment. Another of my previous favorites that I had literally never heard outside of the website? Calling Sixers star Ben Simmons "The Wizard of Oz," though the 'Wizard of Aus" would be a hit.