Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has backed up Olympic sprinter Noah Lyles’ recent comment regarding NBA players not being “world champions” after winning the Finals. In a recent podcast appearance, Giannis expressed his agreement with Lyles’ statement, calling it “obvious” and pointing out that some people may not fully understand it.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has defended Noah Lyles’ assertion that NBA players are not “world champions” after winning the Finals. Antetokounmpo argued that to be considered world champions, teams must compete against international competition, as seen in sports like soccer.
Supporting Lyles’ Assertion
Giannis Antetokounmpo revealed that he wanted to defend Noah Lyles after seeing the backlash he received for his comment. In his opinion, the notion of NBA players being world champions might stem from a certain level of arrogance. To emphasize his point, Giannis drew a comparison to soccer, a sport that is widely regarded as more popular than basketball.
Giannis highlighted the different terminology used in soccer, where even the winners of the UEFA Champions League, the pinnacle competition in club soccer, are not referred to as world champions. He argued that for a team to earn the title of world champion, they must compete and triumph against representative teams from countries around the globe, as seen in the FIFA World Cup.
Giannis acknowledged that while the NBA is undoubtedly the best basketball league globally, it is geographically limited to teams from the United States and Canada. Therefore, he stressed that to truly claim the world champion title, an NBA team would need to compete against teams and players from all over the world.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s support for Noah Lyles’ statement sets him apart from other NBA players who criticized the sprinter’s viewpoint. Despite the backlash, Lyles remains resolute in his stance, stating that he will not retract his comment to appease fellow players or celebrities like Drake.
By sharing his perspective, Giannis has sparked a discussion about the use of the “world champion” title in relation to NBA players and other sports. While the debate continues, it is clear that Antetokounmpo supports the notion that a team must prove their superiority against teams from all around the world to rightly claim the world champion title.