ESPN 30 for 30 on Jimmy Connors

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by IA-SteveB, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    That was a great show about his 1991 US Open run. Nicely directed and shot. I didn't realize how much that changed the life of Aaron Krickstein after losing his match to Jimmy. Man, did that loss derail everything for him. That said, some of the points they showed just gave me goosebumps, especially the exchange where Connors returned like 5 overheads and finally was able to blast a passing shot. They way he celebrated points was like no one else. He rode the enthusiasm of the crowd like a wave.
     
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  2. BTURNER

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    Say what you will, Connors knew how to work a crowd to his advantage. Poor Aaron, always known as a great five setter, he could not close down this old, 'exhausted' man with thousands of fans piling on him. that match could only have been played at the US Open. I remember thinking this dude is loyal American too! Aaron was mugged on national television.
     
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  3. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Yeah, I always felt bad for Aaron. I liked the guy and he was a very fine player who was something of an unlucky underachiever. But this match was unlike all of the other tremendous 5 setters he won...he squared down against an "unstoppable force" with the entire stadium backing him up. I don't think anyone disliked Aaron, but his opponent was pretty much the King of the USO (akin to Boris Becker at Wimbledon). Not to discount the fact that Connors was playing some pretty crafty, inspired tennis for a geezer. Aaron should have won the match; but in the home stretch, when the pressure was on in that 5th set, it was Connors who came up with the gutsy play and sheer determination to win--like he had done numerous times before.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
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  4. sovertennis

    sovertennis Semi-Pro

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    I, too, thought it was a great show all around. Among other things, it allowed Connors to show himself as an absolutely unrepentant a-hole.
     
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  5. aka1809

    aka1809 New User

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    What about the fact that they never spoke again after that match. It was shocking to even the participants of the documentary. That was jaw dropping.

    I also liked how candid Aaron was on his professional life after the match.
     
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  6. Molk

    Molk New User

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    Great show! Totally Agree. How can Aaron go from being one of Jimmy's buddies, friend, or close friends, to not speaking to this him. The match is over and should be left on the court. Time to let it go!...Interesting about Aaron's life after the pro tour. Tough question, what you should be doing after the tour.
     
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  7. VeryVolkl

    VeryVolkl New User

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    So very true...
     
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  8. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    that's part of his charm, y'know:twisted:
    it's just one great F U to the entire world as far as he's concerned.
     
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  9. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    I too, found this very strange (did not see the show but knew about this). They had been quite friendly until the epic USO match.
    Was there some lingering resentment? (on either side?)
    Did Aaron feel cheated somehow due to Jimmy's gamesmanship? [which he knew to expect].
    Or was just Aaron so shattered that he could not have any sort of relationship w/Connors?
    For the most part, Connors won "fair and square", but you could see how devastating it was to Aaron.

    I think PMac's book was spot on about Connors...he'll never show his cards or true feelings...and if you show some weakness, he'll exploit it or turn it against you somehow. Hard to have deep friendships w/someone like that; seems like Connors trusts no one.
     
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  10. sovertennis

    sovertennis Semi-Pro

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    Even at age 60, he still clings to his sociopathic view that the world just doesn't understand him, and that anyone who could question his actions is treating him unjustly. He seems like a very small, very bitter man.
     
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  11. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Regardless that was one of the best sports moments I have ever seen.
     
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  12. aka1809

    aka1809 New User

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    I can't figure out if it was Aaron who will not speak to Connor's or the other way around. When I first watched it, I assumed Connor's wouldn't speak to him. There is also the part where Connor's says he will not apologize for beating him. I just wonder why Connors would have anything against him to not speak to him after all these years. I think even McEnroe and him have been somewhat cordial over the years.
     
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  13. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    I'm just going to say Patty hasn't aged well...
     
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  14. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    I have some very strong opinions on Jimmy Connors both positive and negative. I try to temper the negative about him by reminding myself that there are some good, solid people who know him personally and love him. I also remember that he was a very good friend to Vitas at probably the lowest point of his life.

    But he is an a -hole. It's the unvarnished truth about the man. I believe him 100% when he says that he doesn't care what anyone thinks of him. That's fine .... whatever helps him sleep at night.

    But the revelation that Jimmy hasn't spoken to Aaron since that match was shocking. What did Aaron do to him? What did Jimmy have to conjure up in his seemingly amoral brain about Aaron to make him hate him bad enough to win that match? At least when Evert did that to her opponents, she did feel guilty afterwards.

    Aaron seems like a decent man, always did. I bet even Connors if asked directly would say that. So how could he not see him somewhere down the road and just say, "helluva match."

    The thing about great matches is that it always takes two players, always. One has to set that standard and the other has to match it or surpass it. Connors surpassed it and deserves all of the rewards that comes with that. But Aaron deserved acknowledgement in private on a personal level between the two who called each other "friend."

    But perhaps that's the problem. Connors loves himself so much that he can't recognize that it took two to play that match?

    Connors is a great champion. I hope that he is a great father and husband. But he might just be a rotten human being.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
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  15. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    Didn't Krikstein look so dejected when they showed him teaching a lesson.. Poor fella. It's like the main character from the movie Wimbledon, except he actually takes the crap job at the end and is miserable, Kirsten dunce never shows up to bang him out over fish and chips.

    Connors, seems like such a jerk. But he likes it so whatever..
     
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  16. sovertennis

    sovertennis Semi-Pro

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    Let's remember that the show is edited to match whatever message the director wants to send, so if in the short video of Aaron teaching he didn't look all that engaged (and he didn't) that doesn't mean that he'd dissatisfied overall with his station in life, regardless if Kristen D isn't in it. It is odd that a former top 10er is teaching at a CC though.
     
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  17. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    It looked and was edited that way, but when he talks about it, "did I ever think I'd be director of tennis teaching lessons at a club..." he sounds pretty bitter. I'm sure he's not teaching beginners or something and probably does well, but for a top ten player thats probably not where they see their life headed. I bet conors isn't spending much time on court in lessons.. haha
     
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  18. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    They edited it that way for drama. Trust me, I have seen that stuff firsthand. Krickstein played golf for 2 straight years and now he teaches tennis at a country club. Life could be a LOT worse.
     
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  19. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    Also, if you google the country club where he works, it's pretty nice. It's not like he's teaching at the local YMCA.
     
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  20. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    I like Jimmy and always have. My take on the Krickstein fallout was that it was Jimmy's fault they never talked after that match. It was just another match to him and he made millions of dollars off of it. Once he won and collected the bank, K was tossed aside like an empty beer bottle. Whatever it takes to win and collect. I don't fault him for it at all. The guy could smell blood in the water and took advantage of it every time he could.

    I am glad Aaron at least found a peaceful existence. Far from what he could have been, but at least he didn't turn out like Capriati.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
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  21. SVP

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    And when he was in his late 50s, he got himself arrested at a college basketball game over a verbal altercation, although the charges were later dismissed. Loved his competitive fire though.
     
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  22. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    No, I don't think he's bitter. He just doesn't give a #hit. That's quite different. And somewhat unwilling to trust people; the book touched on this, but he had a huge falling out w/his brother over that casino deal. Weird crap happens when people come into money. Not that his head wasn't already screwed up, but surely that did not help.
     
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  23. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    It doesn't make any sense to me. Why would Connors have to apologize to him? Did Aaron feel he cheated or something? It's bizarre. And, no reason why Connors should hold a grudge, unless Aaron said/did something to him afterwards. Unless Aaron's Dad said something? Who knows. Very hard to fathom.

    They were friendly before, had played each other in many matches. This should have been left on the court, in the stadium. The end.
     
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  24. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Well, it is a job, but doesn't make a lot of sense to me....he should be coaching at a university or something. But, why/how is Connors responsible for any of this? Aaron was somehow so devastated by the loss that his life went to #hit and this is Jimmy's fault? C'mon now, let's get real.

    Connors is an unrepentant a-hole to all but a few who are in his inner circle...to whom he may actually be very kind and generous...but, I never saw a match where he was rude to or disrespected Krickstein in any way. they always seemed to be on good terms until that USO match.
     
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  25. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    It WAS just another match to him...a very lucrative one obviously. But, that still does not explain why he would not talk to Krickstein (or vice versa). Just the opposite would be true if it was just another match...he'd just go back to the usual behaviors w/Aaron. There's something more here that's not being said, I suspect.
     
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  26. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    This is what I was getting at.
     
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  27. sovertennis

    sovertennis Semi-Pro

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    It would seem that there are other elements to this story to explain why the two have not spoken since the match. Even by Connor's objectionable personal standards, his never-again speaking to Aaron doesn't add up (if, indeed, he's the catalyst for that). Even Mary Carillo was hornswoggled by this.

    I'm just glad the ESPN producers didn't connive to have Jimmy and Aaron meet again at Armstrong to talk and hug (as they did with a previous program on the boxers Leonard and Duran). I prefer the ambiguity.
     
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  28. Mr.Lob

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    A good idea, but can't really see Connors cooperating.
     
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  29. Bdarb

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    I'm sure they tried.
     
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  30. SoCal10s

    SoCal10s Hall of Fame

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    anyone know,what happened with him and his coach Pancho Segura ? didn't read his book ... did he mention that ?
     
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  31. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Exactly. 30 for 30 is a dramatization of real life events. Thats what makes it such good TV.
     
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  32. SCRAP IRON

    SCRAP IRON Professional

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    I resisted the urge to read this thread as I have the show DVRd! It should be a good one as all of them are usually well done and entertaining.
     
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  33. big ted

    big ted Hall of Fame

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    i watched the show. it looked to me that connors and krickstein may have had more of a tennis/sparring relationship, im just guessing tho. krickstein was a top 10 player, nice, easy to get along with, so connors invited him over, used him as a practice partner to stay sharp over the years, etc.. maybe similar to what lendl did with sampras. anyway, connors pretty much retired after that year or the next so he didnt really need him anymore. they were probably more just tennis friends than regular friends.
    also, connors seems pretty elusive. hes probably not that good at maintaining friendships unless the other person is calling him and i guess krickstein didnt do that either i suppose
     
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  34. THESEXPISTOL

    THESEXPISTOL Hall of Fame

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    #34
  35. Mr.Lob

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    Thanks for the link. Had wanted to watch but missed it.

    I guess today Connors would be called a "cheater" for his stalling tactics against Krieckstein. But, he did what it took to win... no matter the cost.
     
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  36. ThePro101

    ThePro101 Rookie

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    #36
  37. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Connors celebrations remind me of Filippo Inzaghi's celebrations, very happy and over the top, as if scoring/hitting a winner in the most important match every single time.
     
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  38. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    It´s gonna take AC Milan long time before we see some celebrations like Pippo´s again.
     
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  39. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    yeah today was brutal as usual. I think it's going to take Berlusconi's demise to finally see the team take a positive direction
     
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  40. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    It takes Berlusconi´s demise to fix more things than just AC Milan...anyhow, there is a good chance to upset Barcelona next week, because Barcelona is not playing too steady.
     
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  41. borg's headband

    borg's headband New User

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    Someone in the doc talks about the Krickstein-match and says something like "has there ever been a more important or talked about fourth round match than this?", "I don't think so."

    I'd say Michael Changs win over Lendl in FO 89 beats this one any day.
     
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  42. Gonzalito17

    Gonzalito17 Hall of Fame

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    How would Connors have treated Krickstein after if he lost that match? Excellent film. Jimbo is his own dude, he's always gonna do it his way. He's "a happy *******." lol

    Didn't it seem Jimmy was a little hurt by Patrick McEnroe calling him as *******?
     
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  43. Bdarb

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    He seemed surprised but it all looked sarcastic to me. Is there anyone on the tour, even who was his friend who didn't think he was a jerk.

    I don't get why he didn't talk to him. Everyone seems to imply that by talking that he would have to apologize, and maybe one is due.. but why couldn't they just talk? I'm assuming something else must have happened because all this talk of apologies. If they talked before and not after, clearly something had changed.
     
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  44. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    I have yet to watch this, however, PMac has always been very complimentary of Connors as a player, if not as a person. Wasn't it Ashe who said "Connors may be an a-h#le, but he's my favorite a-h#le"? That kind of sums it up, doesn't it?
     
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  45. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    exactly, even his friends were not misguided enough to think he's a 'nice guy'. They just liked him for him which is different then not thinking it about him.
     
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  46. Gonzalito17

    Gonzalito17 Hall of Fame

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    Nastase and Connors are or were good friends. Jimbo doesn't seem like the kind of guy who likes to have buddies.
     
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  47. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    just watched it...very well done! still unclear why he has not spoken to Aaron after all this time...and why Jimmy mentions an apology....perhaps Mr. Krickstein (the elder) wanted Jimmy to apologize to Aaron? Hard to imagine that Aaron would want Jimmy to apologize. Jimmy was clearly a known entity to him.

    Some great footage in there...an amazing run....still, would've liked a bit more from the 70's and 80's peppered in there. Those who only saw him from the '91 run may not quite realize how formidable he was.

    I found it interesting how respectful and complimentary JMac was....

    Patrick, however, was clearly annoyed at Jimmy and himself, after all these years. LOL! He let the genie out of the bottle, surely.
     
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  48. big ted

    big ted Hall of Fame

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    true but the way they edit shows these days, pmac could have said 100 nice things about connors but they didnt end up using them. pmac seemed like he was half kidding tho most of the time.
     
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  49. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    I agree, this piece was over dramatized. Krickstein played another 5 years. How did this loss ruin his life/career? Wasn't his father a doctor or something? And didn't he marry into a wealthy family? I'm sure not all former players think Jimmy was an AH..Pmac always hated Jimmy for that loss, his brother's rivalry and Connors' not always respecting the USTA. But Connors gave his blood and guts to all of us whether you like him or not..He had 2 hip replacements from trying to start the Senior Tour and overplaying..Addicted to pain killers, Connors did not have an easy time of it while other guys like John MCenroe, Krickstein and other seniors can continue to play the game WE ALL LOVE. Connors who loved it more and gave more cannot (other than hit from modified positions)..WHO LOST MORE?
     
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  50. Rosewall

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    The ESPN 30 for 30 seemed like an abridgement of his book The Outsider.

    The one interesting thing the 30 for 30 brought out was how Connors continues to misread his relationships with some of the players. For instance, he noted in his book that he considered Patrick McEnroe a friend and that he was more laid back and fun than John. He even had a photo of he and Patrick sitting together in his book. When PM called him an a-hole in the 30 for 30 documentary, you could see the wounded expression on Connor's face. He did not expect that. It seemed to me from reading the book and seeing the ESPN documentary that even though he is still an unrepentant lone wolf, he likes to think some of the players understood him, respected him, and even liked him.

    He also documents his early friendship with Krickstein in the book and admitted that he had not seen Krickstein since then. Connor's last mention of that match in his book was "Are you avoiding me Aaron?" So the 30 for 30 didn't uncover anything new, but seized on how cold Connors could be. Connors revealing that he paid for Chrissie to abort his baby (her choice) is another indication of how awkwardly cold he is with relationships.

    Was Connors cheap and classless in the McEnroe and Krickstein matches? IMO, absolutely. But let's be serious, as solid as those two were, they were not championship caliber. Even brother John said he had a bad feeling about the match and went to bed with his brother up two sets and a break in the third. Connors did not destroy either one of those guys' careers.

    To understand Jimmy, you have to know that only two things mattered to him: 1. Winning and 2. Giving the crowd everything he had. He says repeatedly in the book it did not matter to him that the crowd booed him for most of the career. The only thing that mattered is that they showed up. And Connors more than any other player transformed the game and put average joe butts in the seat and blew the game up in the US. Is he a d-bag? Yeah, but so are most elite athletes in that GOAT conversation. He is just brutally honest about it.
     
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