Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo says Noah Lyles was spitting facts when he claimed NBA guys aren't "world champions" after winning the Finals ... admitting he feels the track star's comments were spot-on.
The U.S. sprinter faced a ton of criticism over his take ... with guys like Devin Booker, Draymond Green and more calling out Lyles and dragging him as a result of the quotes.
But, there's at least one guy in Lyles' corner ... 'cause Giannis revealed on the "48 Minutes" podcast he felt compelled to defend the track star.
"I wanted to back him up so bad," the 28-year-old said on Tuesday.
"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 -- who's from Greece and played for his country before joining the Bucks in 2013 -- made his case by using soccer as an example.
"I don't think in any other sport you are called the world champions," Giannis said. "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."
Giannis -- who won an NBA Finals in 2021 -- understands the NBA is the best league in the world, but since it's only based out of the U.S. and Canada, it's really not representative of the entire planet.
"At the end of the day, for you to be a world champ, you have to beat the world," Antetokounmpo said.
Even though Giannis is clearly one of the few that has Lyles' back, the sprinter told us he's not taking back what he said to make the players, or Drake, feel better.