Last month, Team USA track star Noah Lyles angered a lot of players across the Association when he said that whoever ends up winning the NBA Finals doesn't deserve to be called “World Champions” because they're only competing against the States. After his comments, the likes of Damian Lillard, Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and even Drake, among others, absolutely roasted Lyles online.
Over two weeks removed from his remarks, Lyles made an appearance on the I AM AN ATHLETE Podcast with Brandon Marshall Wednesday and discussed all the backlash he's received. Lyles also didn't change his stance.
“I didn't hear that this was going viral until the last day of the World Championships. You know, I'm celebrating, we went out to the club and my phone starting to blow up with my friends and they're texting me saying what's going on? You got the whole NBA on your head right now. Then I'm like, what are you talking about? So I put on my phone and see just a few basketball players like whatever and then I see KD's talking, and then you got a few others, Drake, Drake chimed in. But at the same time it's like wow, they actually heard something. The US is too easily giving out World Championships just because the rest of the world doesn't play the sport that we're playing. Not to say that we're not the greatest at it and we have some amazing and the best ever in that sport, it's just you can't call yourself World Champions if you don't face the rest of the world.”
"We have amazing and probably the best [players] in the world ever for [basketball]. It's just that you can't call yourself a World [Champion] if you don't face the rest of the world."
Agree with Noah Lyles? 🤔
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) September 14, 2023
You know there's going to be more responses to Noah Lyles' latest rant. In all honesty, he has a point. Calling the winners of each NBA season the World Champs doesn't make a whole lot of sense since the rest of the world isn't involved.
But on the other hand, the best players on the globe play in the NBA. If they're elite, you will find them on one of 30 teams in the Association. That's part of the reason it also makes sense to call the Denver Nuggets, for example, world champions.
There are certainly two sides to the argument. But, to be frank, Lyles stirred up something out of practically nowhere after his success at the World Track & Field Championships. He should've known NBA athletes weren't going to like it. And let's be real, there are far more hoop fans than track & field fans.