Michael Jordan has recognized golfing veteran Tiger Woods for diversifying the game of golf and taking it past that of a “white guy’s sport,” according to newly released footage of a 2017 interview with Cigar Aficionado.
During the interview, the six-time NBA champion was asked who’s the G.O.A.T — Tiger or Jack Nicklaus, who won 18 professional tournaments during his 46-year career.
MJ replied, “Obviously Jack won more during the time he played,” before adding “Tiger evolved it to where it crossed a lot of different boundaries — where it’s not just a white guy’s sport.”
“Now, does that constitute him being the greatest? Does that mean he’s any less than Jack — I think [the sentiment] is unfair,” Jordan continued. “So, when you try to equate who’s the greatest of all time, it’s an unfair parallel. It’s an unfair choice. I think those are the demons that obviously Tiger had to live with and he’s gonna be challenged, he’s gonna be graded upon that, but for me, I think they’re both great. I would never say one is greater than the other.”
He also used his own career and that of NBA legend Bill Russell to point out that G.O.A.T.’s simply cannot be compared.
“I won 6 championships, Bill Russell won 11 — does that make Bill Russell better than me or make me better than him? No, because we played at different eras.”