Detroit Pistons rookie Cade Cunningham shares how a vegan diet has helped him get prepared to make the leap to the NBA and who he thinks the real GOAT is in the NBA.
The Detroit Pistons have their franchise cornerstone in the form of 6-foot-8 point guard Cade Cunningham who they took with the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. The Pistons hope he can do for the franchise what Isaiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton did previously and bring a title back to Motown. Health and prosperity will go a long way toward ensuring Cunningham has a long and productive career in Detroit to fulfill his lofty potential.
In that vein, Cunningham’s vegan diet and lifestyle choices, including a partnership with plant-based and health-oriented brands such as JUST Egg, are tantamount to ensuring the former Oklahoma State guard is fueled for the NBA.
“It’s a good product that tastes good, Cunningham said. “If I can eat it, then you want to get involved. As far as me and being vegan, I got to talk to the founders and I really like their approach toward eating healthy and finding new ways to find substitutions to follow a vegan diet. I love being a part no partner with them.”
Professional athletes following a vegan diet and lifestyle have grown in popularity in recent years. Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields adopted a vegan diet during his time at Ohio State. Cunningham credits his older brother who is a super disciplined vegan for putting it into his mind and how it could impact him on the court.
“I knew it would be a no-brainer for me on the basketball court and just my body,” Cunningham said. “And I wanted to try something new. I wanted to try to see what my body could do and how my body reacts to that type of stuff, so definitely basketball played a huge role. I’ve been trying to find different ways to get as good as I can.”
Cade Cunningham thinks LeBron James, not Michael Jordan is the GOAT
You can’t blame Cade Cunningham. After all, he was born in 2001 and it would be impossible for him to remember Michael Jordan’s underrated years as a Washington Wizard in 2001 and 2002 let alone his career with that other team in Chicago where he won six NBA championships.
“I always say I’ve been able to see LeBron I was never able to be around and see full games and know all the storylines going into games things like that with Michael Jordan,” Cunningham told Da Windy City podcast.
Cunningham can also be excused for not remembering the details of the 2011 Finals when LeBron and Miami coughed up a 2-1 series lead to Cunningham’s favorite team growing up the Dallas Mavericks. James scored eight points in Game 4 and was minus 24 in Game 6.
“It’s hard for me to put somebody ahead of LeBron cause LeBron is the best player I’ve seen with my eyes,” Cunningham said. “Trust me I’ve seen all the Michael Jordan stuff, dude is different. I can’t argue with the fact that you think he is the GOAT but in my eyes I say LeBron.”
Cade Cunningham grew up with LeBron James, not Michael Jordan
Yes, Cunningham figured out quickly he was talking to a biased reporter who grew up in Chicago rooting for the Bulls — as correct as that reporter believes he is.
Meanwhile, Cunningham is working on blazing his own path as the number one overall pick. He will be trying to resurrect a Detroit franchise that hasn’t won a playoff game since 2008, while not putting too much pressure on himself.
“I think perspective is everything in this league,” Cunningham said. “I’m coming in as the number one pick and I know people want to see that instant success that instant impact and trust me I’m planning to get to it right now. I plan to win and put on shows right now, but I also know that I’m 19 years old and I’m just stepping into this league and there is a lot more to learn about the league. I know it’s a long journey.”
Whenever Cunningham talks about success, his focus quickly turns to the team and wanting to be a leader of a group that has massive success.
“I’m really focused on being able to win championships and I know you can’t win a championship in a summer league game,” Cunningham said. “I know it’s really hard to win a championship going into your rookie season. It’s all about working and steady climbing.”
Cunningham comes from a hard-working family. His father awoke at 4:15 a.m and his Mom right after, working for an electric company and a travel agency. Their work ethic had an impact on Cunningham who comes across as much more mature than the average 19-year-old.
“I’ve seen my parents go through adversity, stay calm, never make me or my siblings feel like anything was going on,” Cunningham said. “I think the best thing I did growing up was just pay attention and listen to my elders and watch what I liked and didn’t like.”
Cunningham was also influenced by one of his brothers who is a strict vegan. He plans to live a vegan lifestyle as an NBA player to gain a further edge on his competition.
Cade Cunningham spoke to FanSided about his partnership with JUST Egg, which he uses to fuel his body.