Over the weekend, Noah Lyles became the fourth straight American sprinter to take home the 100 meter gold at the World Championships, as the United States has dominated the event since 2017, enjoying the post-Usain Bolt era of sprinting.
Afterwards, Lyles was asked in a press conference about how hard it is to win a world championships gold, and used the NBA as an example of a league that uses “world champions” a bit too liberally for his tastes, noting they aren’t the champions of the world but just the champions of the USA.
Once that made its way to social media, it got a number of NBA stars upset, as Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Bam Adebayo, Devin Booker, De’Aaron Fox, Udonis Haslem, Aaron Gordon, Damian Lillard, PJ Tucker, and many others took to the comments to express their confusion and frustrationg with Lyles’ quote.
NBA players react to Noah Lyles saying: “The thing that hurts me the most is I have to watch the NBA Finals & they have ‘world champion’ on their head. World champion of what? The United States. Don’t get me wrong. I love the U.S. at times but that ain’t the world.” pic.twitter.com/HmlAPIEFG0Advertisement
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) August 28, 2023
As many pointed out in the comments, the best players in the world all play in the NBA — hence why the last five MVP awards have gone to Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic, and Joel Embiid — and as such, it’s pretty fair to call them world champs. That’s not really what I’m concerned with, as I would like to point out the best thing to come out of this is this tweet from the @DragonflyJonez about Denzel Valentine being among the NBA players to join the comment section in anger.
I’ve been laughing at this for 20 minutes.