When you think of Michael Jordan and his presence, it’s hard to imagine he would fear anybody. In contrast, most of the players that faced MJ trembled ahead of the matchup and feared going up against the GOAT. A multi-talented athlete with an insatiable hunger for competing that has the look of a killer ready to do anything for the sake of winning wasn’t a guy you wanted to face.
That demeanor, mixed with his talent and work ethic, made Michael Jordan a 6x champion and by many the greatest basketball player of all time. But did you know that even he has a certain athlete he fears? It isn’t what you think, as Jordan feared no one on the basketball court but a particular guy in his second favorite sport – golf.
We all know how much MJ loved playing golf even during his basketball career. But after his final professional retirement, Jordan entirely devoted himself to the sport of golf and made numerous connections in that world. So during a recent interview with Stephen Curry, Jordan talked about various topics but mainly golf, and even shared who is the only athlete to put fear into him:
“I’m not scared of anybody… but Ian Poulter. I used to go and watch him all the time. If I’m in any of his matches or walking down, he finds me after he makes a good putt, and it’s like, ‘Man, I didn’t do anything. I like you. I support you.’ I stay away from him when I’m walking. I won’t go watch him.”Michael Jordan, Stephen Curry YouTube
Out of all the NBA Hall-of-Famers, he had to face in his illustrious career, the guy that puts fear in the great MJ is a golfer by the name of Ian Poulter. The English man is one of the elite golf players in the world and widely recognized for his competitive spirit and scary look. Something MJ could very easily relate to. That obviously made Jordan a fan, but even he doesn’t want to mess with Poulter.
In the same interview, MJ also talked about how golf saved his crazy addiction for competing and winning. It helped Jordan remain his sanity and blow off steam, as he gained even more respect for the sport of golf. Because his body and age don’t allow him to play basketball anymore and satisfy that hunger for competing, golf is the perfect and healthy way to keep the adrenaline going even in your older age. That’s why we see a lot of former and current players get into golf. Your body and its capabilities may change over time, but your mind and love for competing will always be there.