“Stephen Curry:” How did you come to golf and why?
Michael Jordan : In Chicago, there was snow all the time so it was not easy to play often! (laughs) But I took up golf because it’s the toughest sport. In basketball, you can always respond to an opponent, defensive or offensive, it doesn’t matter. To play golf is to be in front of your mirror. You fight on your own to achieve perfection, every swing, every putt. This is what now maintains my need for competitiveness since I no longer play basketball. And at the same time it drives me crazy.
Stephen Curry : Who do you think everyone meets, what qualities do you need to be a good Ryder Cup player?
Michael Jordan : I have spoken with a lot of Ryder Cup golfers. It’s a competition where you have to put everything you are aside for the benefit of the team. When I played basketball, I was obsessed with my job. But to win you have to give a part of yourself to others. It’s the same in Ryder. Yes, you have Tiger Woods in your team but as Tiger as he is he can only earn one point. What matters is the group. The European team has always capitalized on this.
“If I had been a Ryder player, I would have much preferred to play in Europe”
Stephen Curry : Sf you were in the Ryder Cup, would you prefer home matches or in Europe?
Michael Jordan : I would prefer to play outside. It’s easier to focus, you know you’re not a favorite, you have the chance to prove things. At home, you are often less relaxed, there are the fans, the family, you have lots of requests. I have always liked to play ” on the road », to reduce my thoughts to the essentials. So if I had been a Ryder player, I would have much preferred to play in Europe.
Stephen Curry : In this American team, who do you recognize yourself in?
Michael Jordan : There’s a bit of me in JT (Justin Thomas) for his rage. I also find my serenity in Brooks (Koepka) or DJ (Dustin Johnson).
Michael Jordan from the front row to observe Bryson DeChambeau. (J. Ernst / Reuters)
Stephen Curry : Who would you be afraid to face in the European team?
Michael Jordan : I’m not afraid, but if I had to name one it would be Ian Poulter. I have often followed him in Ryder and when he puts in a good putt he finds my gaze in the audience. I’m here : “Hey man, I didn’t do anything! I like you!”. Now, I stand aside, I don’t get too close to see him play … In Medinah (in 2012), we went from victory to tears when we got home. This is the Poulter effect.
Stephen Curry : There are lessons to be learned from this kind of defeat …
Michael Jordan : I hate it, obviously. But defeat is part of victory. You have to know how to lose in order to win. In the Ryder Cup, the question is, does it mean (to lose) as much for them (the players) as it does for us? If so, defeat will hurt. It’s not about money or anything, it’s about pride. I hate it when we play badly and Europe wins but I have a good feeling this year. “