Currently, the fastest man in the world, Noah Lyles, sparked a controversy when he took a dig at the NBA stars for calling themselves the world champions. The event took place after Noah became the first man since Usain Bolt to win a back-to-back double championship.
The track and field star won multiple events at the Budapest World Athletic Championship, including the 100 and 200 meters. The 26-year-old opined that the NBA is limited to only two countries – Canada and the USA, hence, it would not be in good taste for the winners to call themselves world champions.
“The thing that hurts me the most is that I have to watch the NBA finals, and they have ‘World champion’ on their heads. World champion of what? The United States?” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, I love the US at times, but that ain’t the world.”
“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
Lyles pointed out that the word World Champions refers to sports in which contenders from different countries across the world participate and compete with each other for the coveted title. This infuriated the NBA World and Lyles drew severe flak from them. But first, let us take a look at who is Noah Lyles.
Noah Lyles is an athlete who represents the US
Noah Lyles is an American professional track and field sprinter who is 6x World Champion. The 26-year-old competes in 100, 200 and 4*100 meters events. The Florida-born has brought several accolades to his name chiefly:-
- Bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
- 200 m at the 2019 and 2022 World Championships
- 100,200 and 4*100 m at the 2023 World Championship
- Gold in 4*100 m event at the 2019 World Championships
- Gold and silver in 200 and 4*100 m relay respectively at 2022 Championships
The Adidas athlete holds a personal best record of 9.83 seconds in 100 m and 19.31 seconds in 200 m. The 200 m record is also an American record which makes him the third fastest on the world all-time list.
But before taking the track and field world by storm, Lyles had humble beginnings during his youth days as a gymnast. The world champion turned to track and field events at the age of 12. His parents Keisha Caine and Kevin Lyles competed in track and field during their youth days at Seton Hall University.
The treble-winner was subjected to huge criticism from Basketball greats such as Kevin Durant and LeBron James. However, Lyles later clarified that he wanted to emphasize his accomplishments rather than disparage NBA players.
In response to the flak, Lyles expressed admiration for athletes of all sports and apologized for the same. He also urged better understanding and solidarity among athletes from all sports.