Tiger Woods is an all-time great athlete, so of course he gets questions about other all-time great athletes. On Tuesday, Tiger spoke to the media during the practice for the 2018 Players Championship, and he was asked his opinion on the never-ending LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan debate. And he definitely had some opinions on the matter. Here’s what he said, via Golfweek.
“They’re both great in different ways. If you look at MJ, he was a prolific scorer and played defense like no other, was always first-team all defense. LeBron is different. He’s like a hybrid of MJ and Magic (Johnson), which is so different. He’s bringing up the ball a lot. MJ never really did that. […] They’re very different in how they helped both teams. What MJ did in getting to the final and dominating the league like he did. He did it in a different way LeBron is doing it because of the nature of their bodies, their build, their game and their mental makeup.”
Tiger seems split on the issue of LeBron vs. MJ. But he definitely has an opinion on what makes athletes truly great. For him, it’s sustained greatness. Not just being great for a month or a year, but for many years.
Even though he didn’t really pick a winner in the LeBron vs. MJ debate, the end of Tiger’s answer might have given away his true thoughts on the matter.
What LeBron has done for 15 seasons now, it’s just remarkable. ‘Cause it’s that type of longevity, and to be able to be up for that long a period of time, and to be able to adjust as well. Because we all know as we age we’re not going to be as athletic as we used to be, and so you have to do it different ways. And to be fluid and to adjust, and still be that talented and that good? Hats off to LeBron, and to all the people I just named.
He adds “and to all the people I just named” to the end of his answer, but it seems like he might be leaning toward LeBron. LeBron’s been going strong for 15 seasons and shows no signs of slowing down. As Tiger said, he’s been improving and adjusting as he grows older. After MJ’s 15th season in the NBA — which came after several mid-career interruptions to play minor league baseball and temporarily retire — he hung it up for good.
But even if his comments might have been leaning toward one more than the other, he didn’t officially choose either LeBron or MJ. The debate rages on.
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