The GOAT debate is always going to be something that is talked about among the NBA community. There have been a lot of generational players that can be considered as being the "GOAT". Two commonly heard names are the ones you'd expect, LeBron James and Michael Jordan.
2021 No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham has recently weighed in on the GOAT debate on an episode of "Da Windy City" podcast, selecting LeBron James as his pick over Michael Jordan as his GOAT. He revealed that LeBron James is the best player he's personally seen, but that he "can't argue" with people who believe that it is Michael Jordan. Who one views as the GOAT definitely depends on the criteria that the person values.
It’s hard for me to put somebody ahead of LeBron cause LeBron is the best player I’ve seen with my eyes. Trust me I’ve seen all the Michael Jordan stuff, I mean dude is different. I can’t argue with the fact that you think he is the GOAT but in my eyes I say LeBron.
There is no question that both LeBron James and Michael Jordan defined their respective generations of basketball. Michael Jordan's combo of athleticism and scoring was unparalleled at the time, and the same can be said for LeBron James and his mix of athleticism, scoring, and playmaking during his prime.
Either player has an argument for the GOAT title, and Cade Cunningham clearly realizes that, as he's fine with either selection. LeBron James does have more of an influence than Michael Jordan among the younger basketball players, who haven't grown up watching Michael Jordan play. LeBron James may not be the consensus GOAT, but he is certainly an iconic player who defined a generation. The same could be also said about Jordan, and his dominance in the 90s. Michael Jordan vs LeBron James is generally a matter of the specific fan's preference: they are both legends who are immortalized in NBA history.