Tiger Woods is back on the golf course this weekend… so of course somebody at media day asked him about the NBA lockout. Why wouldn’t you? What, you have something better to ask Woods about? Of course not.
Woods is a Southern California guy, a Lakers fan. Which means job No. 1 is hate the Celtics. So when he talked lockout he said the time off could be good for Boston, but he had to say it with a backhanded dig, reports Jessica Camerato at CSNNE.com.
“Yeah, of course I’m bummed,” he said. “I think anybody who is an NBA fan is certainly bummed. I know that probably one person who is happy is probably Doc Rivers. I mean, with the age of his team, it’s nice for them to only play half a season. It’s true. It’s a fact, come on.”
Maybe that joke is payback for Rajon Rondo’s Halloween contract last year.
Then Woods sounded like most Lakers fans — “who can we go out and buy now to win us another title?”
“But as far as us out west, I’m looking forward to the Lakers getting back there and we’ll see what they do,” he continued. “The problem is you can’t talk to anybody. You can’t see who is potentially on the block of being traded, what kind of deals can we do? Nothing can be happening.
“So as a fan, it’s disconcerting because I’m excited about what we could add to the team, but it’s also I understand this is business, and everyone in this business wants to make money. I know the owners were losing a bunch of money, and some of the markets were feeling the effects. They can’t draw certain players, so they’re just trying to make it fair for everybody so everybody can win.”
Everybody can win now, with a little
Michael Jordan had advice for Tiger Woods as the world’s most famous golfer gets back on the course this weekend for the first time in three months. That makes sense — few people can relate to dominating a sport or being an international star as Tiger did, Michael Jordan is one of those people.
Charles Barkley, he of the worst swing in the history of golf, has some advice, too.
And it’s pretty good advice, too. Not just for Woods but for a lot of the young NBA players coming into the league. Barkley made his comments about Woods while on with Brian Berger on 750 AM The Game in Portland (as transcribed by the brilliant Blazers Edge).
I’m concerned about Tiger. I wish him the best. He’s like a brother to me. I wish him the best. But I’m very concerned about him to be honest with you.
“I feel bad. I do, I just feel bad for Tiger. He’s like a brother to me. He’s making a lot of bad decisions and it’s unfortunate.
“One of the keys to being successful is surrounding yourself with people who are always going to be honest. You’ve got to understand, most people who are around you [when you’re famous] work for you or are just kiss asses… That’s a major problem. You need to surround yourself with good people who are not going to kiss your ass and tell you what you want to hear. Who are always going to be honest.
“That’s a really, really big problem especially when you’re in the limelight. Because the people around you work for you, they want you to buy the dinners all the time, buy the drinks… you have to have a group around you that will tell you that what you’re doing is wrong and help you make good decisions.”
Barkley speaks the truth. A little odd as Barkley could have used some men to tell him the truth at times. But it is the truth.
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.”
Five years ago, Kobe Bryant may have been America’s most loathed athlete. Calling his career as an endorser “washed up” would have been about the nicest way of putting things one could have.
Now, he is America’s most popular athlete.
According to a poll by Harris Interactive, Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods are tied as the most popular athletes in America. Tiger had held that spot by himself since 2006 but worked tirelessly to screw up his popularity in the past 12 months. Job well done there, sir.
Kobe was mighty unpopular himself a few years back. But he embraced the polarizing nature of his personality — love me or hate me, but you will respect my game. Marketing him became more about marketing his will and drive than his personality. And eventually that evolved because people did start to respect him then like him again. He leads the league in jersey sales, his popularity is global.
Oh, and he started winning. Wining still cures all ills in America.
By the way, Derek Jeter was third (likely just the votes of his ex-girlfriends could have gotten him here), Brett Favre was fourth, Payton Manning fifth, LeBron James sixth (the poll was taken before “the Decision”) and Michael Jordan was seventh.