Awww Lars... I've become kind of fond of him over the years volunteering at and visiting assorted tournaments, mostly in California.
I sat next to him in the stands up in San Jose one night to watch Andy v Andy. At the time I was a Roddick fan, not really sure about Murray. Lars explained points to me after each one, explained that Roddick wasn't playing poorly at all, its just that Murray was not giving in to his power game and was finessing the ball around the court instead. It was very interesting. Lars could easily be a color commentator. (Pretty sure that was the same year Murray won San Jose.) I became a fan of Murray that week, especially in that match when I really began to understand that what he does on court can't necessarily be seen on TV.
Don't know how it came up in conversation, but I taught Lars why people say "word" and how he could use it in conversation in so many ways. I double dog dared him to say it to Roddick the next time Andy went off on him in a match. He never did, but every time I saw Lars after that we always said "WORD" to each other. When I finally made it to Wimbledon, I saw Lars in front of me and shouted it to him. He stopped dead, turned around and saw me and said 'YOU MADE IT!' Very sweet.
We were chatting at IW a few years back and I mentioned someone's tennis academy. He said "I think that is the most overused word in the entire tennis industry - ACADEMY. Everybody has a tennis academy, on one tennis court." I think it was last year I walked up to him as he was sauntering back to the lounge and said 'take a cheesy picture with me' and he said sure, so I held my phone out in front of me and we both made semi silly faces.
Unfortunately, as much as I like Lars is almost equal to the amount that I think Jan-Michael hates him. Awkward. After one doubles match in San Jose Jan-Mike just went off and gave me a list of matches in which he was sure Lars had screwed him over during the course of his career. So... that's one subject we don't discuss and I don't think I ever mentioned to him any of the conversations/jokes I had with Lars.
Sorry to see him go, but glad to hear he'll still be around in some capacity. Perhaps I'll still run into him at IW from time to time.
Pros should stop wasting money on coaches and doctors and just read the experts on this forum.