Barkley and Jordan Again Scapegoated For Tiger Woods Transgressions

↵

↵In yet another Vanity Fair feature on Tiger Woods' cavalcade of mistresses, John Merchant, formerly a trusted adviser to Woods, tries to lay the blame for what's happened at the clay feet of Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley. In his version of reality, had Woods only heeded his advice and steered clear of the miscreant basketball players, none of this disgraceful behavior would have transpired. ↵

↵

↵Which, of course, is lunacy. The idea that innocent Woods was led astray by men of suspect character, no differently than Pinocchio was by Honest John, Gideon and Lampwick (okay, maybe a little differently, but still), is a farce. ↵

↵

↵There is a lot of grousing and supposedly prophetic statements from Merchant in the piece, ↵including the following: ↵

↵
↵⇥"I told him, 'Stay away from that [expletive] [Jordan], because he doesn't have anything to offer to the [expletive] world in which he lives except playing basketball, which he did yesterday.' " ↵⇥

↵⇥"This is worse than one of Shakespeare's tragedies," Merchant said. ↵⇥

↵⇥

↵⇥"I loved that boy!" he said. "I watched him grow over the years. I watched him relate to his father. I see all of that destroyed. It never should have happened." ↵⇥

↵
↵

↵Actually, he's kind of right about that Shakespeare statement, melodramatic as it is. In such tragedies, the central character's life is not merely shanghaied by pernicious outside forces. The main character is brought low by their own innate tragic flaw. In other words, they have only themselves to blame. ↵

↵

↵The article features several anecdotes in which Jordan and Barkley play a peripheral role in Woods misadventures. The most amusing of which is an episode in which Jordan attempted to usurp a call girl that was specifically selected for Woods. However, none of these stories prove by any stretch that Woods would never have had the life he did if he had only never consorted with the NBA greats. Merchant, as one expects, has his own motives. He was dispatched by Woods in 1996 after he accused Earl Woods of skimming $1 million off the top of Tiger's $40 million Nike endorsement deal. From that point forward, he claims, Woods was only surrounded by enablers. That's probably true, but it doesn't make Jordan and Barkley any more at fault for the direction that Tiger's life took than anyone else. ↵

↵

↵(H/T to Fanhouse) ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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