He's "Mac the Mouth" both on and off the court -- one of the most controversial and iconic players in tennis history, and he's still talking up a storm about the game he loves.
John McEnroe's gift of the gab has helped him make the transition from one of sport's fiercest competitors to sought-after television analyst and commentator.
But the competitive fires are still burning -- the 54-year-old remains a popular figure on the legends circuit -- and the winner of 17 grand slam singles and doubles titles did not hold back in a trademark "million words a minute" interview with CNN's Open Court.
"You cannot be serious!" Oh yes he is...
On the United States' long wait for another grand slam champion:
"Andy Roddick's now gone and we haven't won any slams in 10 years since Pete Sampras quit other than Roddick's one, so obviously there's some concern here. There's a lot of work to do and I think people remember the old days a bit.
"It was a great time for me and it was sort of a golden era for American tennis -- Jimmy Connors and myself and then Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier trying to run this tour -- so there's something that's missing and hopefully we can fill that niche and maybe inspire some younger kids as well."
On why Serena Williams is the best female player of all time:
"I've seen them all. What Billie Jean King has done for the game and the way she played was more like how I played, and Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert won a billion tournaments, Steffi Graf ... but to me overall, when Serena's on, she's the best I've ever seen play, the whole package as far as what she can bring to the table.
"Hopefully for us, we're wondering where the next American guy is -- the next American woman, we're still looking pretty sharp. Hopefully this will inspire some other people to get out there before she quits."
On why Serena has it harder than most:
"Serena's way better than I am (in terms of keeping her temper). There's no comparison. I think she's held herself and she's needed to -- obviously being a woman and, second, being looked at closer because she's black, so I think she's got a couple strikes against her before she even starts.
"Compared to the overall package that I think she's gone through and what she's experienced, I think she should be cut some slack. It doesn't excuse the time she got foot-faulted (at the 2009 U.S. Open), I think she would tell you she deserved to get faulted, but for the most part I think she's done an extremely good job. I mean, certainly compared to me (laughs)."
On playing with fellow tennis legends Agassi, Sampras, Connors, Courier, Michael Chang, Mats Wilander and Pat Rafter on the Power Shares circuit:
"It's an opportunity for us to show that we still got it a little. Most sports you don't have this chance. Most guys are too beat up physically -- you see what's happened in American Football, it's sad in a way, so we have it lucky.
"There's a lot of physical wear and tear but if you keep it short like we try to do here -- short and sweet, we're not playing best of five sets, we're not even playing best of three sets, we're playing one set -- so it gives old guys like myself a chance."
On Tiger Woods and how golf has eclipsed tennis in U.S. popularity:
"I think tennis was bad for tennis more than he (Woods) was bad for tennis. Clearly there are a lot of elder statesman that it's a lot easier for them to go on a golf course than the tennis court. I happened to be one of those guys who doesn't play much golf.
"I know it's an extremely difficult game but in terms of keeping your health and in terms of what tennis has got to offer, I think it's a great sport, so I'm perplexed by the people who make that decision.
"Back in my day in the early to mid-'80s, that's when they feel I nipped with (Arnold) Palmer and (Gary) Player who were incredible champions -- we were getting double the ratings of golf. If you would have told me then that golf would out-rate tennis, I would have laughed at you.
"Now they look at me like I'm crazy, like remember when tennis did better in the ratings than golf. But there's some marketing things we don't do, we're not reaching out to the fan the way golf or a lot of other sports do, so we've got our work cut out for us -- but that doesn't mean it can't turn around."
On why he was destined to play tennis:
"When I was eight and a half, my parents moved to a part of Queens where there was a club nearby. We joined and if you believe in someone up above I think I was meant to play tennis.
"I was extremely well taught and there was a bit of magic hopefully in the hands, the feel of the racket -- those days the wood racket, that suited me, the strategy, the feel, the subtlety of the game.
"And then there's a bit of Jekyll and Hyde that comes out, maybe with the upbringing, maybe it's something inexplicable, maybe with the times, but it somehow came together."