Noah Lyles gave fans a gold medal performance on the track and an equally impressive performance off of it at the World Athletics Championships.
While discussing the World Championships, Lyles proudly represented track as a global sport while simultaneously taking a dig at the NBA’s “World Champions” title.
“World Champions? Of what!? The United States?!” exclaimed Lyles, winner of three gold medals at this year’s Championships.
“We are the world,” continued Lyles, referring to all of the competitors at the event. “We have almost every country out here fighting, thriving, putting on their flag to show that they are represented. There are no flags in the NBA.”
Expectedly, the NBA community quickly responded.
“Somebody help this brother,” said Kevin Durant.
“Whatever….I’m smoking buddy in the 200m,” responded Aaron Gordon.
Lyles’ rant quickly went viral and eventually made its way to ESPN’s First Take.
“First of all, congratulations to your greatness. Continue to represent this country the way that you did. Major props to you,” said Stephen A. Smith on Monday’s show. “I’m sure he’s a good brother and the whole bit. He just came across as flagrantly ignorant.”
Smith recited statistics supporting the NBA’s international growth and prowess, all of which were true.
The NBA is, arguably, the most globally diverse professional sport in North America. With players hailing from all over the world and foreign-born players dominating on the NBA hardwood, it’s hard not to call it an international sport, hence making the NBA Finals a World Championship.
But Smith and the aforementioned NBA players all failed to understand Lyles’ point.
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