Several NBA stars have responded to U.S. track star Noah Lyles after making comments about the players referring to themselves as “world champions” after winning an NBA title.
Lyles made those remarks after winning three gold titles at the World Athletic Games in Budapest, Hungary. TMZ reported the 26-year-old said NBA players shouldn’t use the “world champions” slogan since they only play in the United States and Canada.
“You know what hurts me the most is that I have to watch the NBA Finals, and they have ‘world champion’ on their head. World champion of what? The United States?” Lyles said Friday night.
He continued: “Don’t get me wrong, I love the U.S., at times, but that ain’t the world. That is not the world. We are the world. We have almost every country out here fighting, thriving, putting on their flag to show that they are represented. There ain’t no flags in the NBA.”
"I love the U.S… but that ain't the world!" ❌
Noah Lyles throws shade at the NBA's 'world champions' 🏀👀 pic.twitter.com/BRCJagckcK
— Eurosport (@eurosport) August 27, 2023
A slew of NBA players caught wind of Lyles’ comments and called him out in the comment section of an Instagram post.
Phoenix Suns duo Kevin Durant and Devin Booker and Trailblazers star Damian Lillard were among the players who had an issue with what Lyles said about the league’s age-old rule, per Sports Illustrated.
Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and other NBA players respond to Noah Lyles' comments. pic.twitter.com/O1eApkNpFG
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 28, 2023
“Somebody help this brother,” Durant wrote, while Booker left a face-palm emoji.
“Tf,” Lillard wrote with three laughing emoji.
“Whatever… I’m smoking buddy in the 200m,” Denver Nuggets player Aaron Gordon wrote.
Meanwhile, Juan Toscano-Anderson had a few choice words for Lyles in the comment section.
“Last time I checked, the NBA was the best competition in the WORLD,” Anderson said, who previously played for the Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz and the Golden State Warriors.
The World Athletic Championships wrapped on Sunday after nearly two weeks of athletes competing in their respective fields.