Jordan vs. Phelps

Is a showdown in the works for these legends?

September 25, 2012|By Chris Sosa, @redeyesportschi

Move over, Ryan Lochte. Michael Phelps has a new rival—none other than Michael Jordan.

"I'm a fan of his. He's met my sons a couple of times, and they were telling me how [Phelps] is very competitive and looking to play golf and a couple other things. I said, 'You know, anytime he's ready, I'm ready,' " Jordan said, (playfully) laying the smack down to the 22-time Olympic medalist.

The Bulls legend then waited just long enough for the laughter to clear before adding, "Except getting in the pool."

The superstar Michaels were guests on "Feherty Live" a Golf Channel show that taped Monday in Downers Grove. It airs at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Host David Feherty, a former pro golfer known for his offbeat humor during his TV career, surprised Phelps by bringing the swimmer's idol on the show.

"You retired, and Michael [Phelps] has just retired. Do you have any advice?" Feherty asked Jordan, himself an avid golfer. "Maybe he should buy a team? A synchronized swimming team maybe?"

"If he could buy a cheap team, I would tell him to buy it," Jordan said.

"You went to baseball for a little bit, so maybe he could change disciplines, like the world cannonball championships?" Feherty suggested.

On and on the one-liners went, to the delight of the packed house at the Tivoli Theatre.

Feherty and his megafamous guests discussed Phelps' swing, the athletes' competitive nature and other topics before switching gears slightly for the rest of the taping. Jordan and Phelps are in town for the Ryder Cup, one of golf's premier events, which takes place this weekend at Medinah Country Club.

If you're waiting for Phelps to come back and swim in the Rio Olympics in 2016, however, don't hold your breath.

"I've been in the pool, for exercise ... I'm not coming back though," he said, drawing a smattering of mock "boos" from the crowd.

It's understandable—he's got bigger fish to fry.

chsosa@tribune.com  |  @redeyesportschi

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