Jimmy Connors


You're listening to inside of you with Michael Rosenbaum. Rob this this is you don't have to be a fan of sports out a fan of just somewhere severence ceased adversity to the utmost what he was like forty when one of the best tennis players of all time. He can he made a comeback where he talks about media. They made it thirty thirty. He never should have been in the US open. And it is shocking to see what he does in that US open. It is one of the most memorable matches. Even if you don't like tennis. The story is incredible. I mean, the first match people turn off the TV. He was playing Pat McEnroe, John McEnroe's brother and turned it off. Because Pat McEnroe was up like two sets to non and Jimmy came back and then people at three in the morning. There was almost no one there and beat him to advance. And then the story gets even crazier. His mama's idle, his mom and grandmother taught him how to play tennis. He has anger issues. He's one of the most amazing. He was when he was on the original bad, boys. He was the bad boy before Jimmy for John McEnroe. Yeah. For sure this is one of my favorite interviews. Listen to it. Learn you're going to enjoy this Algom creator of smallville. He always says Jimmy Connors is my favorite he walked in there. You had no idea who he was. I mean, you know, he was you didn't know him. And he loved the interviews to check this out. And let's get inside Jimmy Connors. It's my pawn. You're listening to inside of you with Michael Rose. Inside of you with Michael Rosenbaum was not recorded in front of a live studio audience. First of all, I'm here with tennis. Great Jimmy Connors, my favorite of all time. You are. You are. Thank it. That's pretty cool. And it's the first time, I'm nervous. He could probably hear it. My voice a little bit can used a little just really Jimmy. You can't hear it. No. I fake it pretty well. You're good. Honestly, arguably the best desperate play wherever lip and still alive. And you look great. Well, you know, keeping up with things now is important. You know, and I live by one word Michael discipline, the annot and the older I've gotten since I've gotten away from tennis, and all that I still gotta live by that a little bit along the way so getting up and doing things and taking care of myself. And and you know, trying to stay a bit healthy I've done enough damage over the years. You're telling me there was a time when you weren't disciplined. I can't always always. Yeah. And and that's the word I still live by. So I. Still have to you know from my own head. Right. It'll get up and do something so CD. Oh, terrible. Yeah. Me too. Like, not not not like the lines like walking over lines or cracks not that bad. I was was pretty I covered it up pretty bad. When a pretty easily when I was playing because the tennis, you know in the adrenaline and everything kind of kept me out of it. But you know, even now today I've been out of tennis. You know, almost thirty years. You know, I still have it, you know, but, but you know, I kinda muffled a little bit and get by. But what do you ever go to therapists or you'd never go to third now? I can't do that. You've never been. I've worked at kind of worked it out on my own. You know, it's interesting my kids, I have the thing with with locking doors lock and locks and really and things and and so I'd get up in at night. And I go lock all the doors, and the windows and everything and and so I get in bed, and and the the kids would come in when they were younger, and they go. Hey, dad, did you lock the doors in bloom, you know, right up again? I mean, it's. You know, I can laugh about it. Right. But it's a serious thing. It really is a control thing it is. And I think I have that to a more of a control freak. I so I've told the story before, but my the difference with me was I think it was because my mother used to watch horror movies with me and make me watch them when I was eight. So I locked all the fucking doors constantly, and I'm looking at my bed all that stuff. So I get I get that. But it's amazing like your old school, by the way. You're not even old. You're not old at all. Okay. I'll take you really not especially now today. I mean. Their nineties. I mean, you got at least forty years, take it. Yeah. Right. I'll take it. Yeah. But you know, it's funny. How the reason why you're here because I probably never would've got you here. But I met your daughter Aubrey who's downstairs talking to my dog right now and we met at a at a Lakers game. And she was just awesome. And we laughed and we hit it off. We just became friends. And I was just like I'm doing this podcast and Bob LA. And I said he think your dad whatever's like, I dunno. Sure, I'll ask him. I like no fucking way. Jimmy Connors is not coming to my house on laurel canyon. I this is my first podcast, by the way. Really? Yeah. Into when she asked me to do this. I say when is it, and she told me, and and I said I'm coming in in the deal is she's got to have dinner with me too. So also took off. So it's a great day. I love the, and you know, to be honest with you. I mean, a lot of people will say, no one knows a lot about tennis tennis is a sport. Where you have you know, yet basketball? I think it's become bigger and bigger. And I think you have a reason there was a reason for that. That was you in a lot of ways the big comeback, which will talk about and all that stuff and just like. Your own persona that this guy that was anti not say, not gentleman. But like we've heard it ad nauseam. But you're the guy that was tennis. You don't screw you. I'll do what I want. And this is who I am. And I'm not straying away from that. Well, you know, you gotta remember that was when I first started. I was fifteen sixteen years old. I'm sixty five now, and I'm happy about that. But you know, so that's fifty years ago. And tennis was at a different time tennis was kind of stuck at a in a period of you know, now really going anywhere. And it had all the, you know, the pioneers that were trying to make tennis, you know, improve it and become better in get to more people. I happen to come around at a time when when tennis became open in a which meant that the the pros could play with the amateurs and everybody just play, you know, play together for, you know, my my generation in my, you know, my crew, you know, and I say that because it's all my, you know, the guys that, you know, Nostalgie played with all of us in Borgen in be Las. We can go back in. You know, name them forever. But but the guys that I was lucky enough to play with all had something on their own. And by that, I mean that, you know, not only that they have their own kind of tennis, but they had their own characters in her own personality and their own attitude. You know, which which I think at the time was was necessary. You know, gentle tennis was gentleman's game that time changed all of that. And it'll sometimes for the better sometimes not I mean, certainly, we crossed the line many many times, or, you know, but there were no rules, then you know, that tennis was trying to feel its way, and we certainly were trying to feel our way, and we just tried to feel each other in in in. We we went astray, but on the other hand in a we had the the the real tennis lovers in the tennis enthusiasts. They were gonna come. No matter what. But we tend us wasn't gonna grow enlist. We got the real sports fan. You know, the basketball baseball, and football, soccer and hockey and. You know to to come and watch guys running around in a pair of white shorts. Like, you know, right. You know, hit a tennis ball. You know, something had to give you know to really bring those people in the sports. So there was a strategy. You're saying I don't your peers it wasn't a strategy was all natural. It was inadvertent. Yeah. I mean, there was no plan. You know, we should do this. And we gotta do that. It was just that the guys at that time. You know, some of us were crazy. You know, a lot there wasn't country club guys guys coming out of the public parks, and you know, trying to, you know, make something of their life and have an opportunity to go to college or are or even beyond college. Become a pro and become the best in the world and travel the world and meet people in different cultures, and you know, really improve their lives. And and you know, that was me, you know, coming from a little town in in Illinois, Saint Louis Illinois cubs fan. I was a cardinal fan book right across the river that you ever listen to Harry Carey at all. Oh, yeah. Of course, Harry Carey is not the best. Hey, I've said who Jimmy Carter's I can't believe it came all the way over from Santa Barbara with his daughter Auber to hang out, my Levin room. You see you talk. Your like your old school to say, you go back, you know, to to to the greats of of that day, you know, deterrent on a game. And have Harry Carey Jack buck the play by play. You know, it's almost all really, you know, Terry carry Jack buck in but anybody else was wow. You know, something special, and it was it was supposed to act to that e Saint Louis, right, right? Yeah. Belleville? Well, I was born and raised in Saint Louis and lived there for eleven twelve years, and then we moved to Belleville, which is literally two miles away. Does what was childhood like I mean for for young Jimmy Connors? Now, I always read about like your mother, Gloria and your grandma, but they never hear about your father anything. I couldn't even find anything. Is there something you don't talk about? No. You know, my mom and grandma were were the pitcher because they taught me the tennis. They gave me this life that I have today and the life that I have when I was traveling and playing my dad was my dad, you know, he took care of, you know, the the duties, and you know, he he did the work, and he came home. He wasn't into. The tennis tennis wasn't his thing. He he did other things, and you know, he was a golfer, and and you know, lived his life. But you know, the tennis once I got into the tennis. You know that became my mom and my grandma's life. You know that, but you have to remember Michael the back, then you know there. What was the plan for me at seven my dad said with acting? What the hell's the plan? Right. What are you gonna do you gonna make money? There was no plan because there was no money. Right. You know back then. So, you know, the the idea was to to give us something to get us off the streets. Right. You know into to let us work at something. And to try to be good at something. Maybe we'll get an education out of it, you know, and and go to college because you know, and as I've learned. Over these many many years, I can walk in any place with a tennis racket and be welcome. You know, not not because I'm Jimmy Connors. But because I have a tennis racket. Yeah. You know, you're gonna meet people people play tennis. They wanna game. You know, if you got a good game come on in all of a sudden, you know, you're you're you're part of the communities. Our grandfather was a boxer was. Yeah. So you think also policemen? So you're thinking, okay, you're going to be a cop to is going to be a cop. He's going to be a he's going to be a fighter. He's going to be like what where was it that, you know, what did you start doing that? I was a fighter by just on the court. That's true. You know, true. But what when did you pick up whose idea was it to even pick up a racket where you do anything before that? Well, I started when I was like two or three years old, and my mom gave me a racket because she taught tennis to supplement the income in I was around and my brother was around. So we kind of took to it. You know, when the lessons would come. If there was five minutes, we'd be out, you know, picking up the balls, and you know, trying to hit a few 'cause you hate it that you hate like, I don't wanna loved it. I so I took to it right away of your mother was Gloria said, hey, you don't wanna do this. She I mean, she would have been fine. If you didn't do it. She was fine. You know, I I had an absolute normal child. You know, as always, you know, I could go with my buddies, right? Could run with my brother, you know. And if I got up one day and said mom, I'm not going to play tennis today. I want to go play basketball. You know that was fine. But I always came back around to the tennis in. Oh, and and and I was lucky because I had a built in pro and you're playing with someone good, right? Who knew what she was talking about going out there hitting a ball and. You can't get one volley going, right? And she was so good, Michael. And and I hate to, you know, my mom, you know, she would blush, you know, because this wasn't her, you know, but she was so good at teaching. No. But bringing out, you know, the in making it easy for and no pressure in a lot of people thought that my mom was a stage door a mother, and you know, was living through me. Sure. She was living through me. Of course. He was it's my mom. You know? But the the end result was if I if I did wanna play tennis she'd have been fine with that right fine with that. But I felt when I was young, you know, before I was twelve thirteen years old that I was doing it because I could spend time with my grandma, and my mom, let's do things. But when I got twelve or thirteen years old, I started thinking there's something to this. You know? And and I remember saying one time to to my mom, as you know, she's we were driving from from from our home to Saint Louis to play tennis. And I said she asked me something, and by Tennyson, I said boy, would I I'd love to be the best, you know. And and and and she looked around in and said, really, you know, and I said, yeah, you know, and, you know, I didn't know what I was saying, you know, she never mentioned that another time never ever mentioned it. But before she passed. She said do you remember? Wow kidding. When she when when. I said that as a kid, and she says, it didn't take any more work for you to become the best as it would if you just want to to do it for, you know, for a college education. So from me, you know, the pressure and not a never had that, you know, even play in the finals of Wimbledon or the US open. You know was never you've got to win. You know, this is what you never felt that not from her not from her. You felt it within yourself. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. I have my own pressure. Sure. That never any isn't that something because that's all. That's here. A lot of that with acting, you know, and in this industry. It's like, you know, the parents, and you gotta do this and bring him to set on like, oh my God. This industries not for children. Right. And they push him. And you gotta do this. And you got to do this. Because again, they're living vicariously through them. Or you know, I didn't have that. I had the the extreme opposite. You know? I was like dad I got three goals in that hockey game. And we won and my dad like a week only. You know what I mean? He just wasn't. I I gotta happen scholar off from Miami of Ohio. He's like Michael come on. What's going to happen to you? What are you gonna start with the fourth line to work your way up to the third line work your way up any battered, you're going to be dishing out kid? You're good player. But there's you know, what's funny is he was fucking right Jimmy. Yeah. Was right. And I ended up not doing that. And I probably would have got the ship out. I mean in a hard lesson like he was sometimes get this shit. Beat up is pretty good because you're doing what you love have you ever had the shipping. Yeah. I mean, the ship way too many times when you're an older like when you're a man. Oh, no. We're just look when you were younger. I gave all that. Once you know, like I told you I did all my fighting on the court. My grandfather trained me like a boxer, you know, and and I see all these kids in the gym today and all that, and you know, they're getting strong, and and they convinced press three hundred pounds and go through all that. And then I remember seeing in the training room Wimbledon four or five years ago. And I see this one of the players he was bench pressing three hundred pounds. And I look I go by and I was in shock. I was in awe, I said, you really in the gym lifting that that kind of weight in and and and so he says, yeah, he says, I'm, you know, I'm strong, I'm strong. And I said so I walked about ten feet. I went back and I had to ask him. I said, yeah, how you doing in the tournament. And he says well I lost yesterday. You know? So and and the reason I say that is because all that in the I was was under the the impression that that tennis muscles were long muscles, fast muscles. Right. You know, not not, you know, bulky and titan. In in in. So, you know, there I go again, I'm old school, you know. But it's true. If you have bigger arms school training, and and you know, and I I like the football from those days that I like the the basketball from those days and the music from those days, and the acting thing out you, and it's just a it's just me, you know, and I came up it's such a great time. You know of of, you know, Frank Sinatra Dean Martin and Joe Montana and Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, and and Wayne Gretzky and a please Mohammad-Ali. Can I keep going? Yeah. Yeah. And and back when when tennis when I first got into tennis. That's who we were fighting for that little headline on the front page against you know, I'll I'll eat alley knocks out Frazier. You know, or or whatever, that's that's the headline. That's where the fire started to me. Yeah. I mean so Muhammad kicking smell all about that. How it went to see? Those. I mean that was just that was understand this though, you're eleven years old, you know, back in Illinois, you know, and you're like playing and started playing in tournaments and things and I'm huffing gas or something in Indiana. Like, not knowing what the hell I'm gonna do this little kid. It sounds like you had discipline at a very early age. But I had all that too. I was I always loved gas. Oh, yeah. Oh, really? I was I was shoveling the snow and working working for my grandpa and in doing things at the railroad with with him. And do it all that. I was doing all that, you know, and it had, but you know, to be that wasn't work that I was having fun doing that. Because I was hanging with the right people with, you know, with with my mom, I you know, my grandma my grandpa where you good kid in school. No, it's terrible in school meets terrible hated school hated it. And and. Which UCLA for year and that was enough. But but I I was bad in school. You just didn't like people talking down to you. Do you feel like it was like, we're just I had ADD? So I couldn't really focus. I had a lot of things. Go wrong in school. I didn't want to sit there. I was a clock watcher. You know, I had a reading disability. So, you know, you know, doing all that was tough. And and so I mean, a lot of things were, you know, for me to go to school in the sit there, and then you know, when I got older, you talked about eleven twelve thirteen years old all I could think about all day. As tennis tennis ten stats it, you know, I want I want to go play. I want to get out there. I wanna be outside. I don't you know, sitting in a classroom. Now, you're talking about education. I think I've I've had a good education along the way not all of it was out of books. You know? So, you know street smart. Yeah. And and I'm I'm happy. That's the one thing that that that I was able to to give to my kids, you know, was kind of an upbringing my wife on the other. Hand was was better at the books. So, you know, but in any way, I mean, you know, my my life growing up back in Illinois was you know, it was just normal was a normal kid, but but tennis back then you know, wasn't in a few didn't play football baseball basketball. Something else in you, play tennis or gov who watch out the call your fans, call names because he plays tennis. Yeah. The short shorts. But did they start with the short shorts? What can they be a little longer? Yeah. But you know, we had to sell more than just tennis because we were trying to get the crowd in. That's true. And I have to say this, and I'm not hitting on you. I'm not gay. If I wore Jimmy. I'd be fine with it. But I always remember Jimmy Connors was a great tennis player. He was a bad ass. And man, he had a great parallel. They carried me for a long time. You work on your legs a lot where you're always like, I mean, they were just perfect Sissy legs. Man. I was like because I remember playing high school tennis. And I was second doubles. Andy Biviano, we won sectionals. Once. I remember I was a scrawny little thing. I think I got kicked off the team because I would have for whatever reason. But I remember just like everybody had these strong muscular legs. And I was like man, I'm not I'm not made for tennis and not sexy enough for the sport. Well, is such an interesting time to, you know, to do you talk about that in, you know, a comparison of styles now today with the, you know, the kids are wearing the long shots, and, you know, the kind of the baggy fed almost like basketball shorts, and you know, the multi-colors and and and standing out in in back, then it was white. The you war white shirt with white shorts with white socks with white tennis shoes, you know, just all that. And I look back at the lot of the guys I played with and and Illionis dossey, for instance, you know, from Romania was of. Favorite right. One of my best friends in in probably in my in my opinion. He should have been the best of all time. He was that talented. He looked like he was born at a pair of tennis shorts. You know that it just fit him. It just just was him. Who aren't you guys worried that the the, you know, the ball might pop out not not the tennis ball, you know, because they were short like if you know, you had a really tuck them in. You know, you you did what you could never had that happen to you. I I was I was pretty fortunate. I was I was solid. I I was pretty solid in there. I was okay. Good. Inside of you is brought to you by stitch fix hang on with that pause button. You don't wanna fast forward this? Because tell me how you describe what you wear. Well, I this is the whole thing. You know, I were sweatpants t shirts a lot. But does that make you feel good when you wear that I'm comfortable, but I don't feel confident like people like, you know, here's what I notice. I did the stitch fix thing. And I, you know, it's comments on your outfit. Well, you go online, but first of all gather. Well, this is how easy it is. Rob I went online, and you just look at pictures. I like that jacket. I I'm not sure I like that jacket or I like the shirt like this. And then they send based on what you like what you think school, and I'm colorblind to they send you it's almost like you have your own stylist, and they send you stuff, and I always like I like all of it. I mean, I'm you know, if you if you don't love it, you send it back shipping. All that stuff is is free. They don't charge you for it exchanges free. So look I like this. I would say. I dress playfully. But like if I want to look if I have to go in a meeting pitch a movie, I don't wanna wear sweatpants unless I'm pitching, Adam Sandler movie. You know what I'm saying? I know exactly what you're saying. 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I only hear about stories about you know, when they were my mom and dad were like in the seventies. And it was like I was a little boy. And I was just then when they were living in like an apartment building, the crystal house in in New York, Long Island and just stories of like outside with some hippie playing guitar, and like just kind of cool stories, like the I I know some stores, but I don't know a lot of them, you know, how they really met because really there are three sides to the story of Ascii any of them. Well, how stallworth works is you you purchase subscription for someone you love and each week. They sent an Email with questions about their life, yet a reply to this Email with their story all stories are private only shared with the family that you choose. And then after a year they make them into a beautiful book. 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So if you didn't have that certain talent that I thought look she'll let you probably live your dreams, and do whatever you can. But she saw something special because she took you out to California. Well, she did. Yeah. And and turn me over to punch Llosa girl now who educate people, and my girl is was one of my mom's best friends because my mom played the national circuit when she was young. Also in Pancho Segura was from Ecuador's appro from Ecuador, and they became great friends when a along the way in the the forties. So so when when he was was coming through Saint Louis, I was fifteen years old. He came through Saint Louis to to to play a match, and he was doing some some promotion for the for the match coming up. So we went over to him and to say hi to in my mom looks at poncho and says I've got a kid here. You know, this pretty good. My kid am I kid, by the way. Right. Exactly. You know? And now now the first thing I do is go hide behind my mom after that. Why not only are coming out? And it's how many times is the great punch cigar heard that from parents to. But because it was Gloria Thompson, you know, my mom who he knew he says how about this send your kid out to California. He can go to school with my son Spencer who was my age. And and you know, he can he can stay out here in in in play tennis and count. He didn't he didn't cut you off. But he didn't ask you to let see him play right now. No. There wasn't anything like that. So I didn't know how good, you know. He didn't he he kind of took my mom's word for it. And and so you know that that that's when I pick. Up and I moved out to California. So she saw something in you at how old before when you moved out there as fifteenth. So she said this you're that good. I think you have this potential while she had taken me as far as she could. I was a boy now man that was taught by a woman a woman's game to beat men now if you look at that as a little bit confusing, you know, and and I'm proud of that absolutely caused figuring because the the the game that my mom gave me held up for three almost four four decades. You know, so, you know, taught a very simple, very basic fundamentals and technique, and but when she turned me over to punch Llosa girl, my mom had given me the game. Now poncho had to give me whatever else was to come. You know, the the mental side of it, the, you know, the strategy side of it. And all that, you know, it goes back Michael just a just a Finnish is that. You know, people say that, you know. To me that you know, you you had to you know, it was you had to because in and they were right because I couldn't afford to to fuck up. Right. And the reason I say that is because my mom and Pancho, my mom, and grandma and Pancho my family both all invested so much in me, not money not time, but emotional their emotional what they gave me emotionally, you know, to to be what I became. I couldn't afford to mess up. Couldn't I couldn't do it. So you know, when when when I go back, and I say, well, did you have fun? I had a blast at a blast plan at a blast traveling. I had everything was great. But there was always that little switch, you know, in my mind that said, okay, twelve thirty time to go one o'clock. It's time to go. You can't. Nope. No more that. No, none of that you can figure that out later. But. Wow. You'd always a that's what impression that you put on yourself. Well, yeah. But I mean in a way that probably helped me become what I became right now. Do you remember when your mother played you when she was on the court with you because you played right? Oh, yeah. Did she try her damnedest and would not ever was? She just one of those that would just like I'm gonna be into. I couldn't beat my mom till I was sixteen. Why was that good that good? And how old was she at this time when she's still beating you. Well, I don't know if she wanted me to say that. Right. Well, you know, she she was you know, she she'd been through it. I mean, I was sixteen you know, my brother, you know, seventeen. And so how did you react? Did you? Did you come home? Like, dad beat mom. I I went up. I remember going up, my mom and apologize. Why? And I say, you know, sorry and in. No, she goes, that's that's the dab in waiting for waiting for you to do that. Now, you know. So I mean, how many parents say that, you know, most of the parents would be, you know, you lucky, you know, you know, my mom was my mom is did nothing. But encourage me along the way Rob's moving the the the the blind see above. Yeah. Yeah. Perfect washing as better. Whether this just happened, Robert producer. This is what happens in a podcast, Jimmy, sometimes the lighting changes in someone's house that we're not a studio. Would you still got the shape? Thank God for the. I don't want you to be washed. Oh, if I take them off, I wouldn't be able to see anything. I'd be like your poppy. I'm sorta like with reading I need these glasses to read. But, but yeah, I mean, it's a it's it's been I've had such a ride Michael, you know, all the very beginning. It's been such a right? Even now, I mean, my my kids both of my kids are are grown Brett's thirty eight aubrey's going to going to be thirty three and, you know, been been married for thirty eight years. And and what I mean, just, you know, but when when tennis stopped I mean, I didn't I didn't feel like I was struggling to walk away from tennis. Right. You know, I I had other things to do. You know, I had still had kids to raise in, you know, family to be a part of and other things to do business wise, and, you know, so my transition even though I missed it because it will never be any replacing that ever nothing ever to pronounce that. So anyway, is it's been it's been a great ride, and it's still going. On I love. So so, and I like this is why it's called inside of you. 'cause I really want to get to. I'm getting to know you and how this all happened. So ponchos teaching you you're out in California. All these things are happening and things picked up pretty fast after that. Didn't they? Yeah. I I started growing into my game. You know, I was fifteen sixteen and and you know, around poncho and starting in my game started to get better. I started to get a little stronger a little bigger it. So, you know, my mom gave me a game that I could grow into an and grow with an it would come right along with me. So you know, when I was seventeen sixteen seventeen I started, you know, winning some some important matches at that point in your life. How did you take losing where you got a guy that through a racket where you guy that said guild Focke, you just just infuriate you get away on you for a long after the game. No, you let it go. Yeah. I mean, you know, I didn't I didn't take it. Well, you know, and but. I always I always knew that you know, that you know at the beginning. I my mom was looking for me to win. When I was ten twelve fourteen years old. She was looking for me to win when I was twenty four years old. You know? And you know, when when you know when it mattered. I think that's a lot that chain. You know that the the parents today, I mean, they see so much money in so much. What goes on in the game today that they want their kids to come out? You know when in win from the beginning. I mean, it's it's good because you you're gaining confidence. But you know, it's a little different it would fourteen than twenty four. Yeah. You know, what Pancho gave me? I mean, he gave me so much. He basically taught me life. I mean, you gotta remember I came from a little town in Illinois, you know, and and he was teaching me more than than just you know, the game and being around the game. It was you know, the whole outside the game and dealing with people. And and figuring out, you know, you know, not only on the court, but off the court, you know, how to survive, and, you know, which was you know, which was pretty fun. Did he ever tell you? Hey, you can act like that. When you mess up. Hey, you can't yell like that your mom ever say. Hey, Jimmy's, you know, it's not. Tennis. And you just said that's one thing. I'm not gonna listen. My my mom made me who I was in poncho may be who I was. They didn't make me who I became that was my doing, you know, so I'm not blaming anything right or wrong that I did I up taken full credit for all of it. The winds and the loss. Did did they yes they did at the beginning? But you know, that that was such a part of me because it was it was my own. It was my my own personality, my own attitude. You know, if I would have kept that in. I would have lasted so long right implode it. Yeah. For sure I I'd have been out of the game early. And it may be that would have pleased a lot more people. But you know, but thank you. But you know, but but for me to let that out into do it, you know? But like I said earlier, I mean, we we there was no rules back. Then you know, we were walking fine lines in, you know, if we could get by with something, we did, you know, intimidation, you know, arguing with the empire. You know? Nobody standing up for us. We didn't have a a head coach or you know, a team captain or anybody in a looking out for us. We were looking out for ourselves out there, you know. So if we were going to stand up for us who was you laws you loved at an early age applause people there for you people feeling that crowd with you. Did you just did that give you that energy? I liked the crowd. You liked. Yeah. Because yeah, I felt for me as an actor. It was always like I wanted instant gratification. I wanted to be when I said a joke. I want laughs when I said something I applauded I want if feeds you makes you better gives you more confident it strengthens you and it's probably there's some unhealthy aspect of it. No buyer in it, the you know, they're in. It up there in it. And they're you know, they know what you're up there doing no matter. What acting or tennis are what music or whatever in? And they they wanna they wanna get as involved as you, do, you know that that's why you know, this happens, you know, so that they wanna be a part of it. They want to be drawn in you know, an and to sit there and not just sit there to say, they're they're watching a movie, or what are they they wanna be sucked into something special. You know? And and you know, it the more they gave me the more. I wanted to give them, you know. It's funny. Rodney Dangerfield one of my favorites time and he doing Caddyshack. It was his first movie. He's like, I'll tell you. I don't know. He does something. I don't know what the line was an afterwards. He kinda goes into corner. That's pretty good, by the way, really Jimmy. All right. He goes to the corner. And he's looking upset. He's shaking his head. And the the guy that was the Italian guy in Caddyshack. But I don't remember his name comes up and goes, hey, Rodney, you'll k- know what's mad because I'm bomb in here. I'm bombing. He said, what are you talking about? Nobody's left, and I tell you, nobody's laughing. They can't laugh because of the microphones. It's a movie, right? He and understand because he was so used to instant they love me right laughs, the an energized him, and there's something. So I had to learn that the first time I did a TV show or movie or whatever I was trying to be funny. No one's and I kind of felt like better account, another take. No, it was great. What do you mean? We laughed at the monitor interesting. I couldn't fuck in here. You laugh louder. We can't right? But there's something about that. There's something weird about that that, but that's all about performing though, don't you is that the reason you you go out there to try to reach that that, you know, something special. Yeah. Or perfection or? Whatever to to get the the feedback if they're not clapping, you're doing something wrong is wrong. Right. Right. But you did something that no one ever did. I mean, when you watch those some of those matches in the ninety one comeback at the US open, you watch these I like in just watch the SPN thirty for thirty. And I was just like I've never seen tennis crowds like that. It was just like people, and you say give them what they want or whatever. And it was. You were like part of them. They felt like they were part of Jimmy Connors like somebody said on the show that they felt like they helped him win that match. I was there. I was part of that feeling people say, well, I mean, that's that's that gave me what I worked for for twenty years. You know, right, then and there, you know, to to get to get that noise in that stadium. You know, that was twenty thousand people sounded like sixty you know, and and offer, you know for them, but they they weren't applauding a shot. They were applauding performance. It, you know. I mean, they they it was, you know, an at I I haven't gone back in washed a lot I did watch a few quips of you know, that that the that open occasionally, right, but but I would watch that every day, but I've been no. But Michael, I didn't even watch tennis. I watched the crowd. You know, the crowd was what you know. What was what interested me, you know, an in? And they were clapping, you know, when when the tennis was still going on, you know, you know, in in their involvement that gave me everything I worked for right there. Now people out here like, you know, listening and watching this was you know, when you hear Jimmy Connors. I mean, you think tennis legend, it's not like everyone knows about the ninety one US open, you know. But don't forget that Wimbledon when you beat McEnroe and eighty two and don't forget the eight majors. Don't forget all these. You know, do you know, how many matches you played I played a lot of Matt get number. Give me a number fifteen hundred fifteen thirty five. How many wins at twelve hundred oil fifty six K eight yet over eighty two percent winning percentage? I mean, it just baffles me and you look at this. And you're like, you know, a grand slam grand SIMS like, you know, for those people who don't it's it's one of the majors. Right. That's one of the four main make Straton the French US open and Wimbledon, right, right? And the one that you didn't win and you could have won it probably a couple times all four in one year. Which is how many times has that been done? But you didn't plan the French Open. And why not well, I mean. You know, a lot of people bring that up, and and and one Australia writes back, then you went Australia. Then you're the only one that can win the grand slam. Then the next one was the French. And that was the first year the team tennis came in. And team tennis was something new that was brought in by Billie Jean King where I played for Baltimore. So there was Baltimore and Pittsburgh and New York and then Los Angeles in there was like a Houston. There was ten or twelve cities around the country that that would bid on a team and and for their players. So it was a first year, and you know, as early in my career, and and I was still like seventy five seventy four before. And I was still looking to make money. You know, I didn't have any so trying to figure out ways to to make money and they offered me a good contract to to play team tennis. So plus it was it was matches leading up to Wimbledon and the French and all. That which would have been good for me. So all that aside the French decided that team tennis wasn't good for the game in itself. And and that that was going to keep guys from playing in the major tournaments and so forth, which for me was just the opposite. I was going to play the majors and use adas as matchplay and getting in shape and all that. So anyway, they decided to keep me out piss you off. You know, so many things happen then. Yes, it pissed me. It did. And and, you know, you know, go back, and whether I would've won the French or not, you know, it's it's almost a it's a better story that went on in one Wimbledon and the open and the story is now wish it who knows Conners go to won the grand slam. You know, who will never know. Now, it was you know, then lawsuits come in. And you know, and all that. And and it was nothing about that that I enjoyed that was one part of my career that that really wasn't. You know, a fun part? I had a manager. Who was you know, took over that did a lot of things it was his Bill Reardon reared Ilori at who you know, who was probably the greatest marketing and promoter. I'd I've ever met Don King of tennis beyond Barnum and Bailey before Barnum and Bailey, and he could he could sell sell you anything. And how did he sell you for him? And he sold me that was the whole thing. How he sold me. You know, when I was first coming up, Michael. And I walked in one of his tournaments. I I don't I I don't even think I was a pro yet in and I walked into do a cocktail party, you know, for him and the sponsors in and as I walked in. I I had no credentials. No anything, and he says the one and only Jimmy Connors, you know, Dom looking around saying know, where is he, you know, I I have no credentials to to warrant that where. But that was his starting of building me know, my reputation in in in what I was you know, what an is point where you start believing that. All right. Like, I am the Jimmy kite. Then you're right. Then you're like, I am Jimmy Connors. Yeah. I mean, obviously, you know for him to say that you know, he he had to to see something. So, you know, okay. I'll take it. You know? So then you, you know, then all of a sudden you start winning a few matches. And then all of a sudden you start believing that and you're right district believing. What was the first match where you're like? I'm gonna like, wow, I'm somebody. This is the one that now it puts me on the map was seventeen years old. I was playing in the Pacific southwest, which is right here in L A at the loss, Los Angeles tennis club, and I'd gone through the qualifying won five matches in the qualifying to play the great, ROY. Emerson L. I I found I had all this later, but he had just come from the US open where he was in the semi-finals, I think which is a grind. And and so he travels to to play this young seventeen year old kid in the first round. Who was you know, looking for any way to you know, to get a win. I go out and I play my beating six four and the third on a side great sets. No, no, three sets three three sets and on the side court at the tennis club. I had poncho watching the match, and and his son Spencer who was was my good friend. And by the time, we got into the match you couldn't find a seat. And I and I say that because that's the first really the first feeling of an event that I was a part of which was that that kind of match of that importance where you know, that that people were actually clamoring, you know, to come into to to watch him to get a view of. And that's the one thing to Pancho told me after he says. You like that you d like what happened there? And I said what the win, you know? And I said, you know, I'm going out my arms or raised. And you know, I just be ROY. Emerson you know. And and and then he says I'm not talking about that. I said I'm talking about the crowd. I said I said that was unbelievable. That was unbelievable. He says you wanted again, he says go win tomorrow night. You know, said okay. You know? So right, then right. Then I started getting the feeling of of what winning felt good that winning felt good is right and the crowd and the noise energy and all this. And that's what you're seventeen years old. Yeah. Yeah. And he said, I got this. Well, I didn't have it. But but I was getting it you're getting. Yeah. It was you know, things started to go in the right direction. And that was really the first time that I felt that that I could actually start competing against the guys at the top radio were you at that age pretty fearless. You didn't care if someone was to get in your head a little bit like this guys. This. I gotta watch out for this. Is there any kind of strategy? No, I, you know, the the bigger they were the better win for me. You know, that's the way I looked at it right now, whether whether I did or not be because when I was first coming up like I didn't have any pressure. You know, if I if I wasn't able to go out and free wheel it in, you know, just cut loose and play Mike on tennis. When with no pressure win. Would I be able to write, you know? So you know, I I was I was looking to play you know that. But then on the other hand we're talking about Bill Reardon. Here was his genius to he kept me kind of quiet. You know, I played his tour a number of months of the year. So that I wasn't just always in in the the the jaws of the greats. You know, I go and get some experience in I matches. I being good shape. And you know, I get some wins. So my confidence would go up. And so that when I went out and I played against the best. You know, I I wasn't you know walking in lacking. Anything wrong, you know, and I was eager eager to plant. So I mean, I was I was brought up by some kick-ass women, raise crazy genius. You know, you know that. And I'm saying that with my mom to my mom or grandma. I mean, you know, they had to be crazy to think some kid from a little kid from Illinois could could eventually become the best player in the world. It'd be crazy to think that then to be crazy to termi over to cigarroa. And he was crazy for taking me. I don't know. So I mean, it's been it's unbelievable. I mean, what a store so much fun. It was unlike along the way now we're in the seventies. And you're starting to build a name for yourself. And like what about dating like what about dating what about parting? What were you more disciplined where you weren't a drinker? You weren't you weren't doing any drugs. You were just so focused. You never got into that stuff. I I didn't know I'm being California's got to be hard. It's that's all there was all here. And it could have been you know, what I was hanging around UCLA and and. And then eventually went there for a year, and it was available. But you know, like, I said I couldn't afford to mess up. You know, I owed people you were the guy that went to dinner and about nine thirty. So I gotta go home. No on a train in the morning. No, I wasn't. I was quite like that. But, but, but I, you know, like, I said always had that switch, you know, that that knew that that when it was time to leave, and I was pretty good pretty good. It's staying away from the trouble. I was pretty good at the first moment where you said something come came out here that you hadn't seen before. Or your coach end seem before your family hadn't seen like ferocity that energy that sort of like just that that Jimmy Connors that everybody came to know that you never knew him was going to happen. It's unpredictable. When was the first time that's something came out. We were like you surprise yourself. How like you lost your shit? You lost control. You scream. You did something and you then you were okay with it. I want how did that evolve. Was that just a slow evolution of? The PI wasn't amid just didn't all of a sudden happen. I mean, you know, my at my soi wasn't gonna use this were rage. Hey, let's get going to use that my rage came from an early age. I I had I had a lot of it. And tennis was very good for me because of to to get rid of that. Right. And and and then, you know, as as I as I use that I could push myself further and push myself harder because of that. But then it also caused me trouble as I got older, you know, on the court, and and you know, some of the situations I got in because of that rage. But on the on the other hand without that. I don't know if I would have been viewed of as far I I don't think I would fidget ever get mad at yourself. Oh, getting at losing yourself. Oh, yeah. Like, did you ever just like you ever have a good cry? Jimmy Connors, ever have a cry. By now, there's no crying in sports for me. That's Tom Hanks said that but I didn't take that from him. I there's no crying in baseball, Jimmy or tennis. No. I didn't I told you before I crossed the line it. I probably had more fun crossing the line than than anybody. Yep. To be able to control that rate sometime, I couldn't sometimes I just couldn't Gloria grandma or a pond show ever say he might have lost it a little bit at night. Oh, yeah. I you know, that you get mad when they set it like, well, I was right. I was never wrong. You know, I've been criticized for saying that, you know, but, but for me everybody has their own thing to get them to to where they want to go, you know, and like I said when I sat down I'm taking full credit, right and wrong. Yeah. All the good. No the ball. You see is what you get though. Yeah. That's all you have been like that that hasn't changed. No, no. This is who I am. I'm not perfect. Right. Right. And the the end result is like going back. Then you know, there was there was nobody like that. While McEnroe is a bit of a hothead. Yeah. But he came after he came after right? You know there. There's guys that are bad boys. You know, you ever say that to him you ever say, you're copying may. I started this shit. Well, there was there was there was nostalgia and Connors. And then there's wanna be bad, boys. Right. You know, and and in Obita, but if you're going to do it don't apologize for it. You know, go and do it and take the and take full credit, right and wrong and the interests at that created, you know, that's what brought in the hockey fans, you know, in in the basketball fan. That's you know, they they didn't wanna come see guys play in white. You're I told you that they wanted to see guys going at it that you ever throw a punch in a tennis much. No. Did you ever come close me and MAC had some good times? You know, some good you think he's a tough guy. I think he can sure I think he can had if you guys went at it youth would have been a good scrap. I'm glad and never went there. Right. You know? But, but yeah, I think it would have been fun. And I think he I think he thinks the same thing which was which is even better. What was the first moment that when you the first time you played each other. Did it start right? Then I had everything he wanted Almira. She's Irish I was number one in the world. He wanted to be number one in the world. I was number one US he wanted to be number one the US. My my return in my my one game was totally opposite of his. He was a certain volume. So we clashed at everything, you know. And and the first time we play was in the semi finals of Wimbledon. He qualified got to the semi's, and I played I played him in the semi's Bateman four sets. You know, right. Then I knew he was he was my competition. I knew that, you know. And how old were you at this time Seattle was seventy seven. So I had to be twenty six when he was eighteen he was eighteen twenty five twenty six, and he was what was the worst thing he ever called you that really pissed you off? Off on the court. I don't ever say old, man. Even though you're only that's cold out. You're twenty six you're not that old. But no, I Don, it's you we just we just combative. Yeah. We just went at it in. And but that's what made for that rivalry. You know, our rivalry was not soft that that was, you know, the Lakers, and the Celtics, you know, Connors McEnroe, you know, and and now malaise, you know, that they've got great rivalries. But you know, it's tough for me to ever think that MAC would have hugged me after a match hit just tough for me to think that you know, or vice versa. You know, these days guys today there is just different. Right. You know? And and it I'd like that you know, I'd like to have that kind of rivalry with him. Because it brought out the best in me. But I was at a stage Michael where things that happened over the course of my career, they'll every time I walked out there. I felt like these guys would rather beat me than. You know than anything, you know, which was you know, to me what a compliment. Yeah. Did you did you feel like you wanted was her party you part of Jimmy Connors every match he played I wanna get under his skin. I want to piss them off. I wanna fuck with. This guy's head. I wanna psychologically beat him. I wanna physically beat him. I wanna fuck and beat the sky. Anyway, I can't was it always like that. Couldn't have said it better myself, a real. But it's, but it's true because you have to impose you know, what you have on them because it's not only that match because you're going to play these guys over and over and over again. So you gotta try to figure out a way to never let them forget the last time, you know. So, you know, for me, whatever that took right on our Jeter, and I've been and I've been criticized for that, you know, for having that kind of attitude. Sure, you know, but you know, you know, what the hell like you said, you know, I am what I am before ninety one. You had an injury you're out partic- what was happening like in the late eighties before that tournament were were you having a lot of problems now hurt your. I didn't you know in in ninety ninety your risk missed a lot of games. I've missed a whole year miss the whole year, and you had how many straight US open appearances before that. I don't I don't know twenty straight US open appearance thing eighteen nineteen something like that. So ninety was the first time you missed it. Yeah. And the ninety one you're recovering from this. You're thirty almost thirty nine at this. Yes. And you're like, what was he thinking one last hurrah? Most guys would have been like I'm done well that for sport like that was so much conditioning so much, but I was done. You know, my my I blew my wrist out in my my very first match of nineteen ninety and every doctor I went to told me says rest, you'll be fine. You know, take take a little time off take a little time off, you know, so two weeks turned into six weeks turned into three months turned in. You know? So, you know, and then I tried to play a little bit along the way I was getting frustrated, you know, see if it worked. So I went to Europe in in September the into September of ninety and my wrist was getting no better. I went to play to tournaments, and I was shooting up my wrist to to see if I could play in a Dorrell's or with steroids pain, or whatever too. So I wouldn't feel anything. So I came back did no good. And I got a call from a doctor friend of mine in Santa Barbara in. And he says he said h hey what what's going on? I said jeeze doc just got back from Europe. He he said how to go. I sit out not so good. He says you're finished. And and just like that just like that. And I went, you know, I just got off my ex-girlfriend Jimmy. I've been there to have been there. And I said doc, he says he says you come see me come see me tomorrow. We're gonna either figure this out or not. So I went in the next day. He opened up my wrist, my wrist had exploded. So he had to rebuild my left wrist. My good, wrist and. And it wasn't the kind where you knock me out to do it. So he did this thing in in on you feel in this Shinno wasn't feeling anything to sing on my arm where there was no blood flow in in. So my arm was like it was asleep. And so I'm talking to him, you know, all while he's doing and he's telling me what he's doing. And I'm going. Well, how's that hell I'm digging in your philanthropy? Having we're going on the you know, he's looking back. I mean, the reason I did it because I didn't want to be told and I had to stop right anyway to make a long story short. Amana cast for I don't know twelve weeks after that I start out like a beginner and my kids were throwing me balls. And and I did meet it come on. Really? And and so. And then when I went back into play a tournament I was treated as a as a newcomer as a beginner also in that pissed me off. So anyway to make long story short, I go, and I play the French. I get to the third round of the French get to the third round of Wimbledon, which is really not the you know, the results I was looking for. But my goal was was the US open. And that if I could get in shape and use the four or five months before the US open to to get my game and ordering and get my strength back. And if my wrist held up, the new US open was where I wanted to desert certain you have to qualify for the US Open his or something you have to identify gave me a wild card in into the US open. So as a wild car or had that work. So it was just by chance by by lock. They got into the tournament. No. I mean, I I was ranked out of ranked one hundred sixty or whatever. And I think it was one seventy four. Yeah. So so then so they I asked for a wildcard to to let me in the tournament. You know, I'd wanna think five times. So hopefully, they would have given me. A and they did which was great. And but but I wasn't seated. I was just throwing in the draw, you know, and and for me, I I always wanted to be afloat her a dangerous floater in that. And I was now all of a sudden it it almost thirty nine. I was a dangerous floater, but not only that. But there's something to be said about like if a pitcher goes into a the seventh inning in this his team's losing three nothing or five nothing. It's not so much pressure is losing he's pitcher your teams. He just in other words, you'd probably throw your best in. He strikes out the side maybe gives his team some momentum and they start winning. I don't know if that's a good analogy or not. But what I'm saying? Is you really as much as a competitor? You. Are you probably didn't have a lot of pressure on you because no one thought you had a fucking chance probably win right now. That's right. Exactly. Right. You know, and and from from my I didn't know where you know were. I was what I was feeling what a until I walked out onto the court when they made the trauma go. This is the interesting thing, you know, I get a call that says the. Ause made. And I said, oh good. You know, and I never cared about the draw never looked at the door or whatever. And they said you play McEnroe, you're thinking, John, I think in she's John. He's not playing anymore. You know, what the only his brother, Patrick, you know, and I'm going oh my God. So, you know, go out and play against him. And and down to such a love and a break as you said Salah people have left there's four thousand people. I love this story four thousand people all come down the real fans. Right. The thing holds twenty thousand people four thousand people gathered around people in the shitty seats are now in the good seats, and they're watching and it's now like two in the morning or some shit, right? And you've turned it around. Yeah. They they stayed until the end they stayed till about one thirty in the morning. And when was the moment, we said, I'm in his head, man. I got this. I just got a focus. So once once I got back in into the third set, and I was down a break and almost two breaks. And and once I got back into that. And things things got even you know, there's. Things that happen in a match. Whether it's, you know, one call or a noise or a clap or something that that you feel turns it around and and one set did, you know, my my confidence and everything even though I was still down to is just lifted and at see his shoulders kinda slumped a little bit. And he says, you know, this match should be over. I should be in the in the shower should be out getting something eat this an old, man. You know, I felt I felt everything that he was saying in my head, you know, so I'd also, but, but once I got through that, you know, I kind of took that as business as usual, you know, that you know, that was down two sets. I was lucky I got I got in a good grind and was able to win that match. But the next day I got up early couldn't sleep. I got up early went practiced in and in Boris Becker. I was on the third court, and he he came from the first court down to the third court and shook my hand and says that that that was some some play in. Last night. And I'll never forget that because you know for him to come and do that. I said Jesus something might happen there. You know, something good happen there that you know, for Boris, you know, and I'm prince force. We've been friends for the gives you more confidence young. Yeah. I said, geez. You know, salsa. I'm kind of starting to question myself. What happened there last night, you know, but but the thing about it is from that point on then I I was I was in the middle of that hurricane. I was in the I I didn't I didn't really feel you know, what was going on around that whole. And then you beat Michael Schapper shapers. Yeah. And that was pretty easy ill-will. I won my next two matches in straight-sets straight-sets. You know, when people are going what what's going on here, the something special happening? Well, it was that was good because I played almost probably four and a half hours with Patrick. So you know, a couple of times it was better. And then and then I played played my friend Aaron Krickstein and fourth round, which was now this is one of the he's about to go up two sets to none, right? Yeah. And. He had this thing. He knew that. He and again, you could see when I was watching the match. I could see that face. There was something he missed the shot that was one of the overheads that he would get ninety one hundred ninety nine percents. Always nailed and he missed it. And were you shocked where you absolutely shocked that he missed the shot. You never know. What's going to happen in a situation? Like that. You know? I mean, that's that's why the difference between number one and number one hundred is so such a fine line. Right. You know, the, you know, does does the Stefan Edberg who who won the tournament. Does he make that you know at that time? You know, are you know, who makes that and who misses it, do you think you would have won if Aaron who never does this. And he said like in the interview I watched he goes there was a ball. He said they called him. He goes what those out that would. And they overruled it. And they said it was in. And he said that was the biggest mistake because that pissed you off and the fire that was incited just everything just changed things. Did you're right lipped out, and then everything changed, right? And plus the crowd got into the exactly right. You know, the, you know, the the arguing and see I like that part of the game, you know, the ornamentation and the arguing and things because it gave the people the opportunity to see the real passion that you have. Yeah. For what you're doing? And in all I got criticized for that too. So, but, but that's okay. You know that that's all right. You know, so you, but but he's right. Once once that happened, you don't like him. There's a way there's my rage. That's it. You know, sometimes, you know, there's the rage that worked for me. Sometimes it worked against me. Sometimes it works for thirty nine years old. Gimme a break who. Well, that's kind of what I said. But it, but it was clearly clearly obvious. You just you lost it. I did. And it was genuine. It was just unadulterated just just came right at you. And that just gave you a new energy because you're probably tired after this is like a couple of matches in a couple of sets in right and probably gave you this adrenaline. Well, I mean, I I've never throwing a match or set or a game in my point in my life. And and when we were one set all in that that had taken so much outta me that I had let the third set go like you let it go. I did you know. For me. I was an obvious. Well, as obvious to me, you know, and I don't know if it was to to the strategy. It was it had to be because of if I would have given everything into that set and lost it. Yeah. You know about anything loan have anything left. So you said, hey, I know that if I just relaxed with us next set and take my time because they do say things like, you know, an interesting the towel sixty six touch it touch the towel you sprayed your knee. Got all these things you were taking your time. It was all deliberate because he played a fast game. Yeah. Yeah. He was wanna slowing down. Oh, yeah. I had to for me, you know. And and you know, I I had to kind of pride upset his rhythm some way. Right. You know? But, but, but I also, you know, new when I first came out with a we're we're friends, we practiced, and and you know, hung out and did a lot of things that you always beat them. I had a good record against him. Yeah. I did have a good record. But but I came out in thought that I could jump on top of him right away. And kind of steam rolling, right? And timid that didn't work and it didn't work. No. So in that took a lot out of me, you know, in watching that when you come back, and you beat creek steam, then I wash I sort of felt bad for him because it was like his coach dropped him. He ended up selling aquariums and teaching tennis. And he's very open about it. He was just very vulnerable or whatever. And they said Jimmy never called me. And I always thought really. Well, I think I think a lot more is made out of that. Then then should have been. I'm sure and the the reason being is because you know, after that, you know, my my regular tennis day days on the regular tour were over right? You know, and I played a little bit. But then I got involved in, you know, another business in and then I got involved with starting the senior tour should I have called him and stayed in touch with him. And thanks Chuck. Do you ever think about him? When today still the you know what I'm just going to give a call and say Hello. But while I'm down in Florida. I spent a lot of time down in Florida in Boca, and he's down there. Also. So we run into each other and you do run. Yeah. Okay. We had a match the last match I played in in out Nielsen I played against him at his club down in Donna, Boca Raton, Florida. And so he it you let them win feel bad L band leading you'll electric. China relent anybody bought an aquarium never let that happen. But never let anybody ever now. Maybe Brett not so not or Aubrey. Nobody no just won't let that happen. That can't I can't. That's why I don't play tennis anymore in buffalo. I won't do it. The next guy you play. Who was that Paul harvest set? Right. And I just want to talk about this. The lobs it always it's one of the most fascinating things I've ever seen because I how fast is his you're hitting these balls just to stay alive, and you're deep on your side of the court. Right. And he is right at the net. And he pounds us ball pry hundred miles an hour. Yeah. For all. He has to do out of a one of just nail one of those out of your reach and the whole rest of the matches is is different right? 'cause breakpoint right for two Sista lovely. I've never seen anything like this. He smashes the ball. I it was like God divine intervention, you you you hit this ball. Pops up again. It's another law right in front of his face his a whole court. He has he hits it again, and you recover, and then it goes and this happens four times in his one of the most you could hear that audience. The I've never I've never seen. It brought tears to my is really I told you I cry. I know. No, you don't fucking do can cried make it on my bed. Oh, no. No, no. It wasn't sexual. I sleep naked. And I was my dog. Was there offer your daughter? She's here, and I was just like oh my God. Spirit goal. It's a bucket miracle. Did you think it was a miracle for that to happen in a so many things had to be right for me? Let's face it. And yeah, was let's let's face it. And and to get the labs back. He should he should've put at least three of those away, you know. But he just didn't you know? He didn't get a good solid hit at it. And he gave me a chance to get it back. You know? But after all that, you know, the best part of it all was you know, I still had to make the shot. Yeah. You know to end the vacuum. And then you know to make that shot down the line. And and you know, and that that's when I heard that crowd for the very first time, you know, in twenty years after the after that in the way, they sounded. And and and what they were able to give me I finally really appreciated everything that that they had given me over that twenty years. I I'd never ever felt anything like that, Michael. And and you know, like, I said, you know, you I. Have done other things after my tennis's over. There's never anything to replace that moment like that. He's still don't cry. No won't happen. Did you cry? When Aubrey was born your daughter. Well, I that's about as close. You're you're begging for your say you want to hear the long one cry. Did I did I did honors? I must say, oh, listen, there's nothing. An and and I was in with for both my kids. And and I'm not one of those guys to go back and never say that you know, that that's the greatest thing that ever happened to me because I mean, even though it might be. But I've had you know, like I said before I've had such a ride to good raw. And by the way, you're still young. Yeah. I'm still gonna keep ride. Yeah. I'm coming to Santa Barbara one play some ping pong ship. I'll get a deep so play tennis at all for fun occasional. I'm terrible. So we could hit. I'll give you go. A I mean, I haven't played since I played with probably Andy Biviano in high school doubles. Well, I wasn't good dilemma. Okay. We can we can go out. We can have some fun. That's every here that. Yep. You're you're welcome anytime. And listen if you get through me, then you gotta take an opera. Good your daughters can play. Yes. She can play varsity tennis. Or they like that Scott. Don't touch. It will be the shit out. That's got a good serve does talking like my God. Oh my God. You coached. I coached all these people coached Roddick, you coached Maria Sharapova, how did your wife feel about you coaching this hot beautiful sexy? Young woman was she worried that Maria is gonna go for the older guy. Now, I don't think it it has nothing to work. How'd it doesn't freak how long been married thirty eight years thirty eight years and not once that you go Jimmy now, she's really beautiful. She was actually happy at times that I got out of the house was Maria easy to work with Andy was great to work with. Okay. Well, well, and he was good kid. Yeah. Had a blast with Andy. And I I was almost two years with him traveling and coaching him and everything and we had good success. Who's your favorite athlete fulltime? Well, you know, I gotta go back. Mohammed Ali number one. You know? And and go back to the time Wayne Gretzky, you know, craft skew the great one Joe Montana Larry Bird, you know, I'm gonna leave slur Burnham Indiana group. You know, then then you know, what what about Willie shoemaker? Oh, what secretariat what I love about? You the all the all the ships. Great. This is this has been the one of the best days of my life that may be ninety one US open for you. Now this pretty special. This is for me. This is really special. X this is and but the thing that made me the happiest was reading some of your tweets, and you're urinating finger Lionel Richie fan. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Do we just went the other night to same at the at the Hollywood scene of Mike five eight times? Whatever Dino all the song. If I sang one would you know the words would you sing with me? I I gave up. My can you bring me like? Atari I gave up my singing career, but we don't have to really single, okay? Guy home, it we could croon it a home home along with you. This is our rebranding. My guitar. His amazing things odds of you're the best. All right here. We go. Because I love eighties. In tune. Stuck on? You gotta feeling down. He'd been Messori rule that I just can't lose. And I'm on my way. Needed a friend ready? And laugh feel about you be with you too. Here. Hear. Away. Mighty glad to stay. There you go. Why don't rich go? I'm going back into retirement after just for you. Boy, george. Oh, yeah. I mean, you like the same should we should go navy these concert. They still I'm friends with Richard Marx. None of my friends care, but I like hair, he's my buddy, you know, richer. Yeah. He and I went to see Lionel together. You're kidding. Yeah. That's unbeliev. We got a tweet them. We gotta get together and go see eighties concert. I do it. Do it. This is this has been. I mean, look having you on. I hope you'll come back. Oh, yeah. Invite me anytime. I mean this. I didn't look here's what's funny. I was so nervous about this freaking out this interview. I had fifteen pages of notes, and I think I look at it. Maybe twice good because it was the easiest guy to talk to. And you just you just so honest that it's just you say what she which you wanna say, let's say what you mean. Yeah. You know, you say, I'm I'm sixty five and I say that because I'm proud to be. I'm proud to be here. And. Been through a lot. I've done a lot. I've enjoyed it a lot. And and I don't have a have anything that. I look back no regrets no regrets that I say miss anything. Oh, I'm on. Visit every day. You still dream about being on the court. When I don't know. I don't dream about not a dream where you're not to cry. Or who are you John? I, but I, but I miss it there, and you know, to go out into to put your your name and your reputation and your game on the line every day. There's something about that that just the special if somebody said Jimmy are you the best tennis player to ever live? But would you say I mean, that's really not for me to say. But I will say this that if you if you say Jimmy, did you give it everything you had every time you walked out there. And you broke your back and bled for what you were doing. I'd say I was the best at that. That's what I'll say I was the best app because that's what I want is my legacy. You know, not the winning. You know, everybody wins, you know. And but, but I I went out there every time with the understanding that that, you know, that's that's what I love to do. And I wasn't afraid, you know, whether it was five minutes or five hours to stay out there and to play it into do it. And and to love every minute of it. So for me, you know, that's, you know, if people think somewhere down the road that a Connors was pretty good, a, let's cool. That's all right. But if you say Connors was a great competitor. Now, you're talking. Mr. Connors, it has been a pleasure being inside of you today. I wanna make sure there's room for the next time. Yes. Thank you so much as it's been incredible. What's your Twitter Jimmy Connors at Jimmy comes? We follow me you're on. They're really I'm gonna put you on her right now be Connors is gonna follow me. I'm doing it. 'cause 'cause I'm I'm going to tweet you and say win of my coming back. You can come back anytime. This is a blast. We could talk about anything. We could talk about eighties music. Let's have Richard Marx on air. All wouldn't that be something on my God that we're friends with Lionel Richie? Yeah. Yeah. Friends for for a long time, you know, who's your most famous friends Richie. You all you hear that guys old lex Luther all? Oh. Come on. I've had a ball you'd be so easy to talk to and he's been so much fun. I love it. Thanks so much with the with you.

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