Noah Lyles peeves NBA stars with post-championship comments
Track and field star Noah Lyles questioned the use of "world champions" to describe NBA title winners, sparking a conversation about American exceptionalism.
Lyles, a 26-year-old track and field athlete from the United States, recently won multiple events at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, including the 100- and 200-meter sprints.
Lyles expressed his discomfort with the term "world champion" being used for NBA winners, as it implies a global title despite the NBA primarily featuring teams from the United States.
Lyles pointed out that the NBA doesn't include flags representing various countries, in contrast to many international sports where multiple nations compete.
Lyles' comments sparked a range of reactions online, with basketball players, fans, and sports enthusiasts sharing their opinions on social media platforms.
Notable basketball figures like Kevin Durant and Draymond Green responded to Lyles' comments on Instagram. Even Drake weighed in on the conversation.
Sports journalist Gary Al-Smith highlighted the discrepancy between the perception of the NBA as a world championship and the reality that it primarily features American players.
Al-Smith discussed how American exceptionalism contributes to the belief that American athletes are automatically the best in the world due to their success within the United States.
Lyles' critique aligns with his belief that his sport, track and field, should emphasize its inclusivity as a way to attract a global audience and promote growth.
While NPR sought an interview with Lyles, he reposted content defending his stance on his social media account.
Lyles believes that showcasing the inclusive nature of his sport is key to helping it grow and gain global recognition.