Sprint king Noah Lyles pointed out that his achievement of securing victories in both the 100m and 200m sprints during the World Championships held greater importance compared to the accolades garnered by numerous American sports icons.
“What hurts me the most is I have to watch the NBA finals and they have world champion on their heads,” Lyles said. “World champion of what? The United States? Don’t get me wrong. I love the US at times. But that ain’t the world.”
The remarks from the 26-year-old have ignited a strong negative reaction. Former NBA player and French national team general manager Boris Diaw has also expressed his viewpoint on the matter.
“I understand why he [Noah Lyles] is saying that,” Diaw said. “Personally, when I became an NBA champion, I liked to call myself an NBA champion and not a world champion because this is not a World Championship. But, historically, the team that’d win the NBA would be the best team in the world. Club team, not national team.
“I think that it’s like the UEFA Champions League. I don’t think there’s a better team than the Champions League champion in the world. They don’t call themselves world champion. They call themselves a Champions League champion. Still, I don’t think that there’s another club that could beat them. I think that’s why he [Lyles] is saying that.”