The student news site of Stone Bridge High School

The Bulldog Tribune

The student news site of Stone Bridge High School

The Bulldog Tribune

The student news site of Stone Bridge High School

The Bulldog Tribune

Lyles, NBA Clash Over Championship Title


After winning his third straight title in the 2023 Track and Field World Championships, USA sprinter Noah Lyles made a controversial dig at the National Basketball Association (NBA), questioning if they deserve the title of “world champions”. Now, following the USA basketball team’s disappointing performance in the FIBA World cup, Lyle’s words are garnering even more attention.

Lyles’ viral jab came out of a press conference following his monumental performance, during which he won gold in three events: the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and the 4×100-meter relay. When asked by a reporter how track and field could grow in popularity, Lyles brought the NBA into question, sparking controversy. 

“You know what hurts me the most is that I have to watch the NBA Finals and they have ‘world champion’ on their head,” Lyles said. “World champion of what? The United States? Don’t get me wrong. I love the U.S.—at times—but that ain’t the world.”

Lyles’ remarks soon gained attention from the public, as well as multiple NBA players who quickly responded in the comments of an ESPN Instagram post.  Among them were Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Bam Adebayo, Tyus Jones, Udonis Haslem, and Draymond Green.

“When being smart goes wrong,” Green said

Durant, Green, Lilliard, Adebayo, and Booker have all won Olympic gold as members of the 2020 US men’s basketball team, supporting their title as “world champions”. In the 19 times the US men’s team has made it to the Olympics, they’ve come home with a medal16 times it being gold. Many also argue that, even though the NBA only includes the U.S. and Canada, it ranks as the top league worldwide. 

“Last time I checked, the NBA was the best competition in the WORLD,” NBA player Juan Tuscano-Anderson told Sports Illustrated.

When being smart goes wrong.

— Draymond Green

The Lyles-NBA controversy mellowed in the following weeks. However, after the U.S. Basketball team’s 111-113 loss to Germany in the FIBA World Cup, Lyles revived the conflict by re-tweeting a post of his now-famous words under the game’s score. To Lyles and many others, it seemed that the U.S.’s performance in the FIBA Cup proved his point. 

“You can go down the line of things that you can do every basketball game, win or lose, you know, critique yourself,” Austin Reaves said. “We just didn’t do enough, we got beat.”

Team USA later played Canada for the bronze medal and lost 127-118, finishing fourth overall. 

Since the USA’s medal-less finish, Lyles has seemingly begun to clear the air. In an interview with TMZ Sports, he mentioned that he thinks his original message during the Budapest press conference has been “lost”.

At the end of the day, it was talking about how I see what we do to our national championships—I just want the same thing for our world champions,” Lyles said. “We’re a sport where we’re bringing in the most medals every year and it’s like nobody even knows because they don’t pay attention.”


About the Contributor
Jillian Wallner
Jillian Wallner, Section Editor
Jillian Wallner is a senior, a returning writer at the "Bulldog Tribune", and involved in multiple groups at Stone Bridge, including PEER and the cross country team. When she’s not hanging out with middle schoolers as a youth group leader she’s probably at the bookstore “just browsing”.