With his autobiography, "You Cannot Be Serious," hitting stores,
we rallied with the former enfant terrible of tennis.
SI: Why write a memoir?
McEnroe: I thought if I looked back and evaluated my life, it
would help me in the future. That sounded like a decent excuse.
SI: A Toronto Sun critic said of your book, "Trees died for
this?" What's your response?
McEnroe: That doesn't sound like a positive review.
SI: Say we made you commissioner of tennis. What are the first
two things you'd do?
McEnroe: Go back to wood rackets and cut the men's schedule. I'd
also prefer for the serve not to be so dominating, so I'd move
the service line in.
SI: You're an avid guitarist. Would you rather be a member of
KISS or the All-England Club?
McEnroe: I'll go with KISS, although I'm getting along better
with the All-England Club these days.
SI: Would you rather be loved or feared?
McEnroe: I would rather be loved and feared.
SI: You wrote in your book that you were high the first time you
and [ex-wife] Tatum O'Neal made love. Were you high when you
agreed to host The Chair for ABC?
McEnroe: Scarily enough, I was straight. I've been straight for a
SI: As a rule, should athletes marry movie stars?
McEnroe: Based on experience, I'd say it's not the best plan.
But I do have three beautiful kids to show for it.
SI: Eric Clapton once gave you guitar lessons. Is it true
Clapton is God?
McEnroe: He's as close as you can get, although Nelson Mandela
would give him a run for his money.
SI: Who wins a match between you and Jimmy Connors in the year
McEnroe: [laughs] Let's hope we're both still around.
SI: Are you generally happy or unhappy?
McEnroe: I'm generally happy, although my kids and wife may
sometimes argue with that.
SI: Why do most ex-players suck as tennis commentators?
McEnroe: Because they take themselves too seriously.
SI: Give me your best insult as we end this interview.
McEnroe: You cannot be serious with these questions!
COLOR PHOTO: SIGRID ESTRADA/CORBIS OUTLINE (MCENROE) "Back to wood rackets!"