Carmelo Anthony Talks Michael Jordan, LeBron James Debate; Says MJ Is the GOAT

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2020

Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony (00) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Carmelo Anthony might think Michael Jordan is the greatest of all time, but he doesn't want to disrespect LeBron James in the process. 

The NBA veteran provided his thoughts on the ongoing debate, via Colin Ward-Henninger of CBS Sports:

"You know, M.J. is the GOAT. He's the greatest ever. We all know that and we all agree to that. Why can't we say that, but also give LeBron his flowers while he's here too? Why can't we say, 'M.J. was very great, LeBron is very great, Kobe is very great.' We're not allowed to say those things today, because it's always this or that, and that's just our society—you have to choose one."

Anthony added that it's difficult to even compare Jordan and James because they are "two totally different players."

Anthony has known LeBron since they were both in high school, each entering the NBA in 2003 and playing alongside each other on All-Star teams and Team USA.

"We came in together," Carmelo said in 2019, per Bill Oram and Jason Quick of The Athletic. "Some way, somehow we will always be connected."

He has also gotten close to Jordan in recent years, meeting after he signed with Jordan Brand. 

This seems to make him somewhat of an unbiased source on the debate, although Anthony doesn't even like the question: "Any time these comparisons are made, whether it's anybody—old school versus new school—it's like, why can't we just appreciate everybody for what they bring to the game?"

Jordan certainly has quite a resume with six NBA championships and 10 scoring titles in 13 full seasons, although James has also impressed with 16 All-Star selections and four MVP awards to go with his three titles.