What planet do these guys come from? Basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal has joined other NBA luminaries in claiming the earth is flat.

The 45-year-old Shaq made the claim on his own podcast, drawing a fairly bemused reaction.

As the Washington Post pointed out, his research involved "driving cross-country a few times".

Satirist Bill Maher tried to help O'Neal out, reminding him the earth was shaped like a basketball.

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Meanwhile, entertainment site A.V Club reckoned: "The belief that the Earth is not round like a basketball, but flat like the paint, is spreading like a bad case of athlete's foot through the basketball community."

USA Today said: "Obviously, the basis of driving from Florida to California would not be nearly scientific enough to justify the flat-Earth claim, but that was all Shaq needed to see and he's standing by it.

O'Neal is the biggest star on this bizarre bandwagon, saying: "The Earth is flat. The Earth is flat. Yeah, it is. Yes, it is. Listen, there are three ways to manipulate the mind: what you read, what you see and what you hear.

"I drive from coast to coast, and this is flat to me. I'm just saying. I drive from Florida to California all the time, and it's flat to me.

"I do not go up and down at a 360-degree angle, and all that stuff about gravity, have you looked outside Atlanta lately and seen all these buildings?

"So you mean to tell me that China is under us? China is under us? It's not. The world is flat. The world is flat. Satellite imagery could be drawn and made up."

Cleveland Guard Kyrie Irving started the trend with a flat earth claim last month, winning support from Warriors forward Draymond Green, Nuggets swingman Wilson Chandler and now O'Neal.

It even led to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver having to tell the media he knows the world is round when asked during the All-Star Weekend.

"Kyrie and I went to the same college," Silver said. "He may have taken some different courses than I did. ... But, personally, I believe the world is round."
Shaq was dunked on his own podcast by co-host John Kincade.

"Ninety-two podcasts and that's the dumbest thing you've ever said, and that's a high bar to get over," Kincade said, as both men laughed.

US President Donald Trump has been drawn into the bizarre discussion, with many tweeters wanting to know what he thinks.