Tennis, Wawrinka, Goodman Theater discussed on The Podcast


Was standing man before Wawrinka. This is Stan. Welcome to the show. Thank you. Yeah, you know, one time I wanted to stand at Wendell and he's wearing a stand the man's shirt. I said, I said, stand up. That's what they used to call me. He said, they still call you that. You should have trained Mark, man. You can have the shoe, the frames. Yeah, well, Stan Musial, I think, had that first, but it's been around for a long time. So I was in a meeting just last night at dinner meeting at the Goodman theater and a guy had on the Adidas, Stan Smiths. And I said, I'm interviewing that guy tomorrow. Who's he? The guy whose shoes you're wearing. He was like, oh, what does he do? And I said, we wanted to create a tennis players of all time. I said, that's how the shoe came by. He's like, oh, well I just love the shoes. That's not the first time that's happened because, you know, a lot of people now, unless they're 55 and over, probably, probably never suddenly played the game. So that's normal to see that. It's great to see that guys like that. And young girls and young boys and babies and old people still wear the shoe. Right. And then I've got another friend who owns a clothing store, sort of an urban streetwear store in the south Lucas called success. He's actually a former NBA player. And he's got Stan smith's ten different versions of the Stan Smith shoe. And he was like, I don't know who the guy is. I know he played tennis with these shoes. We can't keep him on the shelf. And so it's just, it's just amazing how you create a sort of a brand off the court. That, you know, that lives on 40 years later. But I want to talk about your client career, right? Because I think people know you for the shoot, but they don't know. 1968 NCAA champ. Former president of the tennis Hall of Fame. 7, 1971 U.S. open champ. 1972 Wimbledon champ. USC Trojan, which is what we all know in tennis is a great tennis school. I mean, before the shoe, that's a hell of a playing career. But how did you get your start in SoCal? Because, you know, I think about all these tennis pros, you know, we all had a lot of people help and I know you have San Diego tennis patrons help you as well. How did you get into tennis? Well, it was really my two older brothers and they played a bit, my father actually coached the pest in a city college. He coached XS as well as other sports. And he never really coached me too much, but a group of parents in my area formed this tennis patrons association they hire pontius Segura. Who, in my opinion, could be the smartest coach that's ever played that's ever coached the game. He was a great player himself. And he was a little guy, but he had to use his brain to win and his legs. And he transferred some of those thoughts and ideas. He worked with Connors. He worked with Chang. He worked with a lot of players along the way. And he was great. And so I used to, every Saturday morning, we go to passing a high school, which was not really a country club situation, and it kind of pink beige is tennis courts, peaches, color, and hardwired nets. You hit the net in a bounce up, you know, 20 feet. So we did that every Saturday morning and I got to learn the game and then start playing tournaments in the area. And then USC offered me a scholarship. Not until the May of my senior year. I mean, he was trying to get other players and he kind of got stuck with me because everybody else turned him down, but you know, it worked out great. He's coached. And I'll soon and ralston and of course lots and Ramirez. A lot of great players over the years and they not only became good players, but they won majors, you know, like tomato one, Wimbledon and the U.S. open. Sooner one U.S. open, Ramirez won a few doubles titles along the way in the majors and of course lots and I played and Ross and once a major. So he was in my opinion the best college coach ever. You know, dick cool. Certainly one more title 17 titles, but George totally would, I think they won ten titles in his coaching career. So, but he coached guys that became great players, you know, on the international scene. And it was a great experience to be there for four years at USC. Now, you did something that we don't see a lot now. And that is 1968 NCAA champ in three years later, Grand Slam champion. How did that transition happen? So quickly. I mean, that was odd for ash was competing. I mean, there were some people who could play in the game at that point. So it wasn't like, oh, it's old days. You just walked into the tour. Well, it's a gradual thing. I won the national junior championships in 64 and then went to college one 68, and then was able to really play tournaments during my college days in the summertime. I played 5 or 6 tournaments against these top players during the summer. And then once I graduated in 68, I got to play Davis Cup and then just went right on the tour and played those same guys in the same tournaments in the summer, then of course year round. So I was able to get some good experience early on during college and I was the last guy to graduate from college to win a Grand Slam. Now, Arthur Ashe was the last guy he graduated before me, and he won a Grand Slam after me, but we were the last two to win grand slams to finish college. Now, how did you finance your career? Because in those days, you win a Grand Slam and you get a handshake. Get a check, right? So I gotta check. I gotta check the guys right before me in 68 got a warm handshake. And a coupon for maybe a sweater. But what I won the U.S. open, I won $20,000. And when I won the Wimbledon, I won 5000 pounds. So it was not the same as today, but it was more than just a warm handshake. Yeah. And then you go on and I was having a great career, lots of doubles titles. And at what point did the shoe come about? Because about in 71, the shoe had been created by horse dosser, who was Adidas son, and a guy named Robert haye, who was the number one French player. And the shoe was created in France in a place called lander shine, which is in the border of France and Germany and Austria. And so they wanted to get a stronger presence in the United States. And I was American player number one in the world at the time. And so we worked out agreement they were looking for a great looking guy to put on the tongue of the shoe, a great face. And they couldn't find one. So they got made. And so they put my face on the tongue, they had ro bears name on the side and had several iterations of the names of both names and that sort of thing. And finally, after about four years, I took his name off the shoe, and it was just my name after that. And then they took the shoe off the market in 2012 and 13, and the meeting in 2011 when they lured him into that. I wasn't too happy, but they came back with a vengeance and January 15th of 2014 and it went crazy after that. They did a lot of things with collaborations with hip hop artists and that sort of thing. And people that I didn't really know very well at the time, but the kids knew them. And so they really marketed to kids from 18 to 24, which I thought was a mistake because I thought those kids wouldn't know who I was, but again, they had collaborations with people for kids

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