(via NBA.com India)

Michael Jordan was the undisputed GOAT for years before LeBron James started building his case.

And though many still crown MJ as the best ever, the 35-year-old  James has come closer to that title than anyone else in basketball history. As stars, fans, and media members continue to have the conversation, it seems one of “the King’s” own friends has Mike ahead of him.

Here’s what Carmelo Anthony told CBS Sports on the GOAT debate:

“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?” Anthony said. “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.”

Naturally, James’ greatest critics have used Melo’s stance to practically shut the door on his claim to the throne. Skip Bayless seems to be leading that charge.

Guys from Melo, to Magic, to Shaq and Barkley, have all conceded the “greatest” tag to Michael over LeBron or Kobe. On the flip side, names like Kendrick Perkins, Bill Laimbeer, and even Scottie Pippen have advocated for Bron either being tied with Jordan or already over him.

No matter your opinion on the matter, nobody is more qualified to talk on the subject than those who’ve played with or against these guys. And if they’re split on something, you know it’s a truly controversial topic.

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