NBA star Steph Curry told ESPN Wednesday he was "joking" earlier this week when he said he did not think humans had ever landed on the moon -- and he revealed he'd accept an invitation from NASA to visit lunar artifacts at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Curry kicked off the controversy earlier this week when he appeared on a podcast called "Winging It" with fellow NBA veterans Vince Carter and Kent Bazemore, as well as Curry's Golden State Warriors teammate Andre Iguodala. At one point in the free-flowing conversation, Curry asked the group: "We ever been to the moon?" After the others responded no, Curry said: "They're going to come get us, I don't think so either. Sorry, I don't want to start conspiracies."
"Obviously I was joking when I was talking on the podcast," Curry told ESPN, adding that his public silence was "protesting how stupid it was that people actually took that quote and made it law as, 'Oh my God, he's a fake-moon-landing truther,' whatever you want to call it."
The comments quickly went viral and sparked a furor on social media, with many criticizing the two-time NBA MVP for doubting the moon landing. Curry did not comment publicly about his statements until Wednesday, intensifying the focus on him. NASA spokesman Allard Beutel publicly invited Curry to visit the Johnson Space Center in Houston, "perhaps the next time the Warriors are in town to play the Rockets.
"We have hundreds of pounds of moon rocks stored there, and the Apollo mission control," Beutel said. "During his visit, he can see firsthand what we did 50 years ago, as well as what we’re doing now to go back to the moon in the coming years, but this time to stay."
Curry told ESPN he "definitely" would take Beutel and NASA up on their offer.
"I am going to educate myself firsthand on everything that NASA has done and shine a light on their tremendous work over the years," he said. "And hopefully people understand that education is power, informing yourself is power. For kids out there that hang on every word that we say, which is important, understand that you should not believe something just because somebody says it. You should do your homework and understand what you actually believe.
"But I'm going to go to NASA and I'm going to enjoy the experience wholeheartedly."
However, Curry's trip to Mission Control may have to wait for a few months. Golden State isn't scheduled to visit Houston until March 13.