Noah Lyles’ recent criticism of NBA players calling themselves “world champions” has gotten heat from current and former basketball players.
But no one’s reaction was as spicy as Gilbert Arenas’.
In a recent episode of his “Gil’s Arena” podcast, Arenas, Rashad McCants and other former NBA stars were discussing Lyles’ comments.
Arenas scoffed at what Lyles said. McCants was less dismissive.
Arenas noted many professional teams overseas have “a bunch of f—ing has-beens,” and the majority of players on those teams would not make an NBA roster.
Arenas took McCants to task, noting that everyone at the table played overseas. McCants said he played in Lebanon.
Arenas then asked if McCants’ former team in Lebanon could beat the Denver Nuggets, who just won their first NBA title in June.
“We have a chance,” McCants answered.
“Get the f— outta here. Get the f— outta here. Y’all lose by 200! Stop!” Arenas said.
Arenas added there was no chance any professional basketball team overseas could beat an NBA team.
“We’re looking at the Spain team, and we’re looking at their Olympic team,” Arenas continued. “We’re not looking at their individual teams that win the championship.
“The best Euro in the country would be on the NBA team, not on the f—ing team that won the Euro Cup!”
McCants defended his take, though.
“Any team I play on got a f—ing chance,” he quipped.
McCants won an NCAA championship with UNC in 2005 but didn’t win a title in the NBA.
Lyles ruffled feathers last week after he took home three gold medals at the world championships in Budapest.
“I have to watch the NBA Finals, and they have world champion on their head. World champion of what?” Lyles said as laughter filled the press room. “The United States? Don’t get me wrong. I love the U.S. at times, but that ain’t the world. That is not the world.
“We are the world. We have almost every country out here fighting, thriving, putting on their flag to show they are represented. There ain’t no flags in the NBA. We gotta do more. We gotta be presented to the world.”