The world’s No. 1 golfer, Dustin Johnson, has no plans to switch sports. Despite being in the Los Angeles area for the Genesis Open the same weekend as the NBA All-Star Game, Johnson decided his focus would be better spent at the course.
Bubba Watson had the opposite mentality. He’s been lobbying since last year to be invited to this year’s competition, and says he’ll be there even if it means dropping out of the golf tournament.
“I really don’t want to pull out of L.A., but I will pull out if I have to,” he told Golf Digest. “I will no-show because I am definitely showing up at the [arena]. That I’m not worried about.”
Watson, a former high school player, is 6’3″, one inch shorter than his wife Angie, who played in the WNBA. Watson declined an invitation to Thursday’s shootaround. “I understand the game of basketball and played it for many years,” he said.
“I do need to get there early and meet everyone,” he added. “I’m going to have like a car right there revved up and ready to get over there. They give us an hour on the court to warm up beforehand. I’m thinking, ‘Man, some of these people aren’t athletes. They’re going to be tired before we even start.’ But seeing the celebrities and hanging out with them and talking shop with them … it will be a blast. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Johnson, famous on Tour for his 6’4″ frame and (oft-cited) dunking ability, seemed confident in his talents but comfortable with his decision in comments to the Golf Channel. “I got an invite, but I’ve just got so much going on this week that I really don’t have enough time to do it,” he said on Wednesday.
“I’d do OK. I beat Shane Battier in a three-point contest. That’s my claim to fame in basketball. It was in Miami at Doral. We did some little exhibition. Granted, it was blowing about 30 [mph] and it was outside, but I still won.”