Let’s just hope he doesn’t go Steve Kerr and punch Bubba Watson in the face…
Michael Jordan was certainly known as a motivator as an NBA player, although mostly because he was competitive to the point of near insanity (he once told Kerr he had never felt so low as when his team had lost a scrimmage at a Bulls practice). Jordan was the bad cop and nobody played good cop. He yelled drove people, embarrassed them and pushed them. And he has six rings in part because of that.
So it’s interesting that the United States Ryder Cup team captain Davis Love III has reached out to get him as a motivator and advisor, something reported by the Guardian in London (hat tip to SLAM).
Jordan will be at close quarters with Love and his team. The 49-year-old has previously been an assistant captain for Fred Couples – himself part of Love’s backroom team – at the Presidents Cup.
“I’ve talked to him. Michael’s going to be hanging around with Fred probably a lot and be an influence,” Love said. “I told Michael this a couple weeks ago. One of the neatest things I ever saw in the Ryder Cup was Michael riding in the golf cart with Tom Kite. He came out to watch Freddie and I play and I thought that was one of the coolest things.
“So I want my team, like Fred and I did, to get to see Michael. Rather than him sneaking around in the gallery, I want him to be seen and I want him to be in our team room, be hanging around and be a great influence.”
Basically, it’s just cool to hang out with Michael Jordan. Even if you are one of the best golfers in the world.
The Ryder Cup is a three-day golf competition between the best of the USA and the best of Europe, competing for their side. There’s a lot of national (and continental) pride on the line and makes for good television. It begins Sept. 28 and you can see the weekend matches on NBC.
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Usually if we are talking about a 55-footer on this site, Jordan Farmar — or some other long-shot specialist — hoisted one up from the other side of half court to beat the buzzer and it happened to fall. Like say Dwyane Wade.
But in this case we’re talking Bobcats owner Michael Jordan…. who as I recall used to play a little hoop himself back in the day. Anyway, now he’s a golfer and he has the wedge out and is wearing his Sunday Tiger red so…. nice soft shot. Mickelson would be proud.
Tiger Woods is about to step back on to the golf course for the first time in three months next week. He’s doing so trying to overcome issues both physical — left knee and Achilles’ injuries — and psychological that have hampered him for more than a year.
Michael Jordan dealt with issues while he was playing — although for very different ones, for Jordan it was the death of his father in 1993. Jordan was able to overcome his issues and dominate (both before and after his baseball vacation). While the sports are different, Jordan is one of the few humans on the planet who can relate to Woods’ stature in the sports world and his dominance of the game.
Speaking to the Australian Herald Sun (because he will be the assistant captain of the U.S. team at November’s Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne), Jordan talked about Woods and offered some tips. (via CBSSports Eye on Basketball)
“The biggest thing is that I’ve always – and I’m pretty sure Tiger has, too – used sport as a therapeutic tool,” he said. “Once you’re inside the lines, you can focus on what your jobs are and what you’re doing on the court, or for him the course.
“The problem for him was that he wasn’t physically capable of getting inside those lines and doing those things. I think he’s been somewhat fragile mentally and physically.
“When I went through those issues, once I got on to the basketball court that became a therapeutic thing for me where I was able to forget all those other things. Once I finished playing basketball, I came out with a better understanding of the decisions I had to make.
He doesn’t have that now. Now he’s going through something that’s totally different, totally new for him and he’s now acknowledging that. He needs to get healthy, mentally and physically, before he can really attack that. And it is such a mental game, so he has to be right again in that sense and I believe he will get there again.”