Tiger Woods has been compared with other great golfers, legends like Jack Nicklaus and even Bobby Jones dating back to Woods' days as an amateur. He has even been compared with other great athletes who dominated their sport, like Michael Jordanand Roger Federer.
As he settles into his athletic middle age, others are now compared to Woods.
During his press conference Tuesday in advance of this week's AT&T National tournament at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, where he will play the dual role as host and favorite once again, Woods was asked about the similarities between the scrutiny he has received over the years with what LeBron James had gone through until finally winning his first NBA championship last week.
Woods seems to sympathize with what James went through.
"It's just different," Woods said. "This is a different media time. There's a 24-hour news cycle. That wasn't always the case. The guy who grew up in it certainly have had more attention, more scrutiny than the times when they didn't. I talked about this with (Wayne) Gretzky. He grew up in a time where they didn't have a 24-hour news cycle and then he moved to L.A. and things changed.
"There's so many more platforms now that people are trying to get their voices heard, and somehow screaming the loudest and critiquing the hardest is (better) for people to actually know who's saying something."
Woods, who shares the same birthday (Dec. 30) with James nine years apart, said that he appreciates how James has developed from the 18-year-old phenom to the 27-year old three-time MVP.
"It's pretty neat to see somebody who's that talented work on his game and then display it under the most extreme circumstances. We saw it in MJ. He couldn't jump over everybody with the Pistons and eventually learned a differet shot, and he mastered going off his right hand, left shoulder. It didn't matter, he could fade away (with) either shoulder.
"I think that what he did, going into the NBA at age 18 is very different (than what Woods did). I went to college for two years and had that type of environment to grow and learned. We saw him physically grow but also mature his game over the years, and it's fun to just sit back and watch."