Former NBA star makes stance clear on ‘world champions’ argument: ‘We’ll bust that a–‘


Over the summer, track star Noah Lyles ruffled some feathers when he said NBA players did not have the right to call themselves “world champions” after winning the NBA Finals.

“I have to watch the NBA Finals, and they have world champion on their head. World champion of what?” Lyles said in August shortly after he won three gold medals at the world championships. “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.”

He continued: “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 got to do more. We got to be presented to the world.”

Kevin Durant, a two-time champ, said someone needed to “help this brother,” but C.J. McCollum told Fox News Digital back in October he understood where Lyles was coming from.


Nate Robinson

Nate Robinson #2 of the New York Knicks walks up court during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on November 24, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 100-90.  (Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Well, bring in Nate Robinson, who very clearly stands on the side of Durant.

In a recent interview with Fox News Digital, Robinson said he “never understood” the world champions argument…because the champions in America are the world champs.

“If you want to battle for that name, whoever wins it overseas, come play a championship in America, and we’ll bust that a–. It’s that simple,” Robinson, who also played overseas, said. “We are the best talent. Nobody around the world is better than the guys we have here in America. Period. I don’t care what anybody says.”

The 5’9″ three-time Slam Dunk Contest winner, though, took it a step further, saying that the United States could dominate any sport, because “we have the most athletic guys.” That includes soccer, which remains low on the totem pole in terms of popularity.

Nate Robinson dunking

Nate Robinson #2 of the New York Knicks dunks during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday Night as part of the 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend at the American Airlines Center on February 13, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.  (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

“If we played some of the sports that they play, we have the right guys to play soccer, they wouldn’t touch us,” Robinson says. “We never played that sport like that, but if we did, we’d be dominant at it. Imagine how big and fast our guys are. Cristiano Ronaldo is fast — put Russell Westbrook in soccer cleats since he was three years old. You don’t think Westbrook would be the best soccer player in the world? Or LeBron? Or Deion Sanders? Or Barry Sanders? Or Bo Jackson?

“There hasn’t been one overseas guy that’s Bo Jackson. Please show me. He and Deion Sanders played football and baseball. Show me the overseas guy that plays basketball, soccer, baseball, football, whatever they want to play at the highest level and be good. I haven’t seen it.” 

Robinson, himself, was a two-way star in college, playing both football and basketball at the University of Washington. He admits he thinks “what if” about football constantly — and yes, he thinks he could’ve made it to the NFL.

Nate Robinson at Big 3 tournament

Player Nate Robinson looks on during the BIG3 Playoffs at Smoothie King Center on August 25, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Chris Graythen/BIG3 via Getty Images)


“That was my first love, honestly. That was the first sport that I was introduced to. I fell in love with it. I wish I would’ve played just to see how far I could’ve made it…

“I was Travis Hunter before Travis Hunter.”

Robinson has been appointed as the Chief Dunk Officer for AT&T ahead of this weekend’s Dunk Contest in Indianapolis that will feature Jaylen Brown, Jacob Toppin, Jamie Jaquez Jr., and defending champ Mac McClung.

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