Noah Lyles is the athlete of the moment in the United States: at this month’s World Track and Field Championships, the 1997 class took gold in the 100 meters, 200 meters and the 4×100. Yet in recent hours he is being talked about more for some of his words at press conferences than for his accomplishments on the track. Lyles has brought up the NBA for appropriating the title of “world champions”.
In fact, when a team wins the championship, the NBA apostrophizes it as. “World Champions”, although in the end it is only about the U.S. League. “I love the US sometimes. But that is not the world. We are the world [riferito ai Mondiali di atletica, ndr]! Here all the best athletes from every country compete with each other representing a flag. In the NBA there are no flags.” Noah Lyles said.
“I love the U.S… but that ain’t the world!” ❌
Noah Lyles throws shade at the NBA’s ‘world champions’ 🏀👀 pic.twitter.com/BRCJagckcK
– Eurosport (@eurosport) August 27, 2023
Lyles’ words caused a stir, and many fellow NBA sportsmen responded to him in kind. Primarily, Kevin Durant: “Somebody help this brother.”. But also Devin Booker, Damian Lillard, Draymond Green, Aaron Gordon, Tyus Jones, Udonis Haslem, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro, to name a few. In the comments on Instagram, it is full of NBA players who resented these words from Lyles.
Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and other NBA players respond to Noah Lyles’ comments. pic.twitter.com/O1eApkNpFG
– SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 28, 2023
NBA stars respond to Noah Lyles who gave his take on NBA champs calling themselves world champs 🍿
(h/t: espn) pic.twitter.com/ImbDUem6g3
– Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 28, 2023
the nba is the best league in the world that’s why the champs are “world champs” 🤦🏻♂️ https://t.co/vg21oQUSrW
– Tyler Herro (@raf_tyler) August 27, 2023
Although the sense of “World Champions” is to be traced back to a kind of American megalomania that there is no such thing as an NBA-level championship (which is certainly true), it is likewise true that the definition creaks when compared to what happens more sensibly in other sports, such as precisely athletics.