Weeks ago, NBA players took offense at track & field star Noah Lyles’ comments on not being world champions.
Lyles stated that the NBA is a national league — and the “N” in NBA literally stands for that — so NBA champions shouldn’t call themselves world champions.
Drake, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, and even Stephen A. Smith reacted to his comments, mocking him and calling him out — even though he was technically right.
That’s why, now that Team USA failed to reach the FIBA Basketball World Cup final, Stephen A. had no choice but to backpedal and agree with Lyles.
In the latest edition of “First Take” on Friday, the ESPN pundit admitted that FIBA basketball is a different animal, stating that Americans get exposed often.
.@stephenasmith reacts to the USA failing to reach the FIBA World Cup final again:
"That's glaring. It gives credence to Noah Lyles … International competition is different and the USA gets exposed." pic.twitter.com/rBXLFzClFq
— First Take (@FirstTake) September 8, 2023
Lyles never claimed that NBA players weren’t the best on Earth, which they obviously are.
He just stated that they don’t play against teams from other countries; thus, they cannot be considered world champions because they aren’t.
NBA players don’t like being criticized or called out, and they will often rally together when their egos get hurt, which was the case here.
But it didn’t take long before Lyles’ point was made clear, and his face became a viral meme in the aftermath of this heartbreaking loss.
USA basketball will need to take these tournaments more seriously if they want to continue their dominance over the rest of the world.
Everybody else is catching up, and it’s time they stop relaxing and overlooking their rivals.NEXT: Dennis Schroder Made Huge Shot Over Special Team USA Rival