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Due to Noah Lyles, NBA Players Who Used To Skip Olympics Might Join Team USA for Paris Olympics 2024

Published 01/05/2024, 12:00 PM EST

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Noah Lyles stirred up several big storms in 2023. While many of those storms had their origin in his lightning-fast speed, one of them had its origin in a controversial interview. The Lyles versus NBA feud blew up on the internet like a volcano. It heavily polarized fans as well as celebrities and players, making them pick sides.

The World Champion debate started by Noah Lyles resulted in a lot of bad blood between him and the NBA stars. However, that feud of yesteryear can now result in something positive. There’s a high chance that the biggest names in the NBA will look forward to playing on the court at the Paris Olympics.

The new order after the chaos created by Noah Lyles

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Noah Lyles recently gave an interview to The Washington Post. Amongst the various topics surrounding the 6x World Champ, the topic of the NBA controversy also popped up. Interestingly, while everyone fumed at Lyles after his mega-popular “World Champion of what?” statement, everyone got humbled after USA Basketball lost the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

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Following this defeat, several NBA stars who didn’t bat an eyelash at the Olympics suddenly showed a heightened interest in joining Team USA. Speaking about this, Noah Lyles said, “What’s funny is now all these basketball players are saying they’re going to be on the Olympic team, which I assume they were going to say.” Lyles continued, “A lot of people were like: ‘No, they did this because of Noah. He called them out, and now they all want to be on the Olympic team!’ I don’t think it had anything to do with me. If I get a mention in the next Dream Team documentary, I think that would be pretty funny.” 

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While Noah Lyles finds this major development funny, this isn’t the first time he had the last laugh in this controversy. In fact, one of his hardcore critics was forced to apologize to him on national television.

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When Stephen A. Smith was forced to swallow his pride

Stephen A. Smith, the renowned NBA analyst for ESPN was also one of the participants who got mad at Noah Lyles for his words. While Lyles had said that the NBA is a national league, Smith argued that the NBA is home to several global stars. Basing his view on this fact, Smith even called Lyles flagrantly ignorant.

WATCH STORY – Noah Lyles Is All In, Rooting for the $155M Esports Giants at World 2023

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But, the FIBA loss to Germany in the finals was a vital blow to USA Basketball. Moreover, one of the international stars he quoted when he vouched for the international status of the NBA, Giannis Antetokounmpo, also sided with Noah Lyles. This forced the proud analyst to apologize to the 2023 Athlete of the Year on First Take. While Lyles is all set to hit gold at Paris, will USA Basketball also clinch the gold medal at the Olympics?

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Written by:

Ankit Singh

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Ankit Singh is a senior Olympic Sports correspondent at EssentiallySports who covers gymnastics, track and field, and the NCAA Women's Division 1 Volleyball. In his early days at ES, Ankit covered two prime track and field events - the 2023 World Athletics Championships and the 2023 Prefontaine Classic. During the 2023 NCAA Division 1 women’s Volleyball championships, Ankit covered the Nebraska Huskers and the Wisconsin Badgers rivalry, and later covered the transfer portals after the Texas Longhorns lifted the victory.
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Edited by:

Sampurna Pal