Noah Lyles Gets Rare Support After Giannis Antetokounmpo Supports His NBA Comments

Noah Lyles Gets Rare Support After Giannis Antetokounmpo Supports His NBA Comments

Martin Moses
September 13, 2023 at 4:53 PM
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo has supported Noah Lyles' sentiments on the NBA
  • Lyles elicited sharp reactions after he attacked the 'world champions' tag of NBA winners
  • The American will be looking to close the season with a bang at the Diamond League finals this weekend

Noah Lyles 'anti-NBA' comments continue to provoke reactions weeks after he started a storm against the premier basketball league.

Lyles, who is arguably the athlete of the year after winning three gold medals at the World Athletics Championships, crossed over momentarily to basketball, with his comments rubbing many people the wrong way.

Noah Lyles, NBA, Giannis Antentekuompo
Noah Lyles celebrates after winning the 100m world title in Budapest on August 20. Photo by Michael Steele.
Source: Getty Images

While in Budapest, Lyles questioned why NBA champions are often referred to as the champions of the world, yet they never play teams from other countries.

"I 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 US — at times — but that ain't the world," he said, as quoted by the Guardian.

The statement attracted the attention of a couple of NBA players, including Kevin Durant, Dame Lillard, and Draymond Green, among others, who all concurred that the track star had no idea what he was talking about.

Antetokounmpo backs Noah Lyles

However, in a new interesting twist, Lyles has gotten support from Milwaukee Bucks star, Giannis Antetokounmpo.

"I wanted to back him up so bad, you know. He received so much backlash for saying the, like, obvious," said the 28-year-old on the 48 Minutes Podcast.

The Greek Freak, as he is known in some quarters, is one of the top names of the competition, having led the Wisconsin-based franchise to NBA glory in 2021.

"I don't think in any other sport you are called the world champions. You know, like in soccer, which is way bigger than the NBA, more popular than the NBA. When the Champions League, the UEFA Champions League, you know, champions; they don't say the world champion, you know. When they win the World Cup, they play against the USA team, they play against the teams around the world, you know, countries around the world, then they say world champs," he continued.

Lyles will be in action this weekend at the Diamond League finals in Eugene, where he will compete in the 100m.

Why Noah Lyles is right about NBA

Noah Lyles has never been one to beat around the bush. He calls it as he sees it. He has been referred to as cocky, arrogant even.

The only thing working in his favour is that he has always been able to walk the talk. He promised to deliver three gold medals during the World Athletics Championships in Budapest. The celebrations, however, quickly quietened down, with attention now focused on his post-race sentiments on the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Amidst all the backlash from Lyles' comments, Sports Brief took a look at why winning the NBA doesn't make you a world champion.

Martin Moses photo
Martin Moses
Editor- EPL I Serie A
Giannis AntetokounmpoWorld