“Who is this guy?”: Fans roast Euro League player Kyle Hines for sparking NBA vs. European basketball debate
Kyle Hines isn't a known commodity to an NBA viewer and with good reason. The 6'6 forward, however, is known as one of the most feared defensive players in Europe and was even named to the EuroLeague's 2010-20 All-Decade Team. However, his name has recently been doing rounds on NBA Twitter, and the reason? Well, he triggered the NBA fandom.
After Noah Lyles, Kyle Hines became the second American athlete to prompt comparisons between the NBA and basketball outside the NBA. Hines' statement was not controversial - it rather triggered NBA fans for other reasons too - one being the fact that Hines did not make the NBA or play even a single minute in the league.
Hines simply stated that EuroLeague is chess, but the NBA is checkers. However, fans seem to take offense to his comparison of NBA and EuroLeague. NBA socials had a field day going after Hines' statement, with many criticizing for downplaying the NBA.
Not everyone is just there to roast Hines, though. Some fans are in agreement with the comparison, albeit from an outsider's perspective, of course.
Kyle Hines went undrafted in 2008 and played in the NBA Summer League from 2008 to 2010
Hines may not have played an NBA game but it wasn't for a lack of trying. The Pelicans, Magic, and Bobcats had tried him out during three successive Summer League campaigns. Failure to make it to an NBA roster, however, did not lead Hines away from pro basketball opportunities. Hines went on to become a 4-time EuroLeague Champion and multiple-time regional league winner across Europe.
The undersized big man played in Italy, Germany, Greece, and Russia, and established himself as one of the most coveted defenders in Europe. While his highest-scoring season only saw him drop 13.6 points on average, his overall game was admired and appreciated in Europe.
Kyle Hines is certainly an authority to speak about the European game and might actually be one of the most qualified Americans for that role. But when he stepped into NBA territory, that is when he had the fans triggered. When Noah Lyles' incited debate ends, a Kyle Hines incited one begins. Never a dull day in NBA social circles, that's for sure.