Giannis Antetokounmpo Co-Signs Noah Lyles' "World Champions" Comment

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NBA Player Giannis Antetokounmpo's Trip To China
BEIJING, CHINA - JULY 09: Giannis Antetokounmpo called the game as a referee during the game during the game as part of a promotional event during his visit to China at Beijing Sport University on July 9, 2023 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Di Yin/Getty Images)
Giannis Antetokounmpo agreed that NBA Champions does not equal world champions.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has come to the defense of Noah Lyles after weeks of backlash for the American sprinter. "He received so much backlash for saying, like, the obvious, but some people don’t understand it. I don't know, maybe it's like an arrogance thing," Giannis told the 48 Minutes podcast. "I don't think in any other sport you are called the world champions. Like in soccer, which is way bigger than the NBA, more popular than the NBA, when the Champions League, the UEFA Champions League champions … they don't say [they're] world champion. When they win the World Cup, they play against the USA team, they play against the teams around the world, countries around the world. Then they say world champs."

Despite the backlash, Lyles was somewhat vindicated. While he was not rooting against Team USA at the FIBA World Cup, his comments rang true. Team USA finished fourth, missing out on a medal for the second World Cup in a row. While some of the NBA's top stars have begun to express interest in the 2024 Olympics in Paris, Lyles' "World Champions of what?" has rung truer than ever in recent weeks.

Dwight Howard Joins Olympic Interest

Meanwhile, Dwight Howard has become the latest player to express interest in representing the United States at the 2024 Olympics in Paris. In the late 2000s, Howard was a go-to pick for the national team. He won a gold medal at the Beijing Games in 2008 as well as a World Cup bronze in 2006. However, he is likely on the outside looking in when it comes to 2024. Despite this, Howard is adamant that he be selected.

Furthermore, he has gone as far as to say that if he isn't selected, he will play for Taiwan and "drop 85". There's just one problem with this - Taiwan (or Chinese Taipei) can't qualify for the Olympics. Taiwan is not one of the 24 remaining teams competing for one of the four remaining Olympic spots.

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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.
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