Track and field star Noah Lyles created quite a controversy over the weekend when he said that NBA champions don’t deserve the title of “world champion” when they win the NBA Finals.
Lyles claims that because the NBA is located only in North America, winning at that level doesn’t really make a team champions of the world.
Many NBA stars and personalities spoke out against Lyles’ comments.
Evan Fournier, currently playing for his home country of France in the FIBA Basketball World Cup, agrees with Lyles.
Fournier told ESPN, via ClutchPoints:
“If you participate in the World Cup or even the Olympics and you win, you have the right to call yourself world champions. The way I look at is NBA champions, for sure they’re the best team. But it’s just a title.”
"If you participate in the World Cup or even the Olympics and you win, you have the right to call yourself world champions. The way I look at is NBA champions… It's just a title."
Evan Fournier on Noah Lyles' recent comments
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) August 29, 2023
Fournier is a bit kinder with his words than Lyles was but he agrees in principle.
He believes that the title “NBA champions” would be better than “world champions.”
As for the winners of the Olympics or the World Cup, they should be granted the right to call themselves champions of the entire world.
Fournier is in the minority among NBA players, as most of them don’t plan to change their wording any time soon.
They point to the fact that the NBA recruits the best of the best from all over the planet.
Today, there are more international NBA players than ever before, playing for many teams throughout the league.
Therefore, when a team surpasses all the others and claims a Finals victory, they are beating the greatest foreign-born stars.
This is a point that has been brought up before in the past but the NBA hasn’t changed and probably won’t change this time either.
No matter what you call them, the team that conquers the Finals deserves serious praise and celebration.NEXT: Collin Sexton Wants To Make a Statement This Upcoming Season