The current 100 and 200 meter dash world champion Noah Lyles was in the eye of the storm last month when he questioned NBA players who consider themselves world champions for conquering the domestic league.
As Team USA have lost three of their last four FIBA World Cup matches and won’t even return home with a medal, basketball fans are starting to acknowledge what the American sprinter was trying to say.
In a recent interview with GQ’s Chris Cohen, he was asked about what were his thoughts on all the backlash he received and how people around him are starting to apologize.
Noah Lyles liked this post about USA losing to Germany 👀
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 8, 2023
It all started last month when Lyles expressed his take on the huge distinction between winning a domestic tournament and actually competing internationally.
“I have to watch the NBA Finals and 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. That is not the world,” he said with a laugh.
“We are the world,” he referred to global competitions like the one held in Budapest in August. “We have almost every country out here fighting, thriving, putting on their flag to show they are represented. There ain’t no flags in the NBA. We gotta do more. We gotta be presented to the world.”
In his most recent interview, he admitted that the NBA is the best league in the world, but was clear in explaining his position.
“To be honest, I truly think the NBA is the best. That was never the doubt. But, there is a level of not understanding the two sides of sports. There’s the national side and there’s the world side, and you can’t have the world championship title without facing the rest of the world,” he said.
Lyles responded to pop artist Drake, who also tried to ridicule the American athlete for his stance on ‘world champions’
“It’s just a situation where they finally decided to listen. I’ve been saying—the whole world, truly, has been saying that for years. It’s just this time they paid attention, and had an opinion,” the sprinter said this weekend.
Check out some of the public criticism made by these basketball athletes against the Olympic runner:
Noah also responded to music icon Drake, who is a global ambassador for the Toronto Raptors, after the artist said “he thought this speech was gonna be so hard in the mirror the night before… now the whole league doesn’t rate u.”
“There are a bunch of funny things that come from it, like having Drake notice it. Like, Drake, what are you doing here? Go back home. This is an NBA conversation. But I couldn’t go on TikTok for more than three seconds because it would just be like, me. And I’m like, Can I see something else? I don’t want to see me. I go to Twitter to see other things,” Lyles answered.
The sprinter’s point of view has only gained credibility as Lithuania, Germany and Canada just defeated Team USA’s basketball team in the FIBA World Cup.