Is James Blake's "nice guy" image phony? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Is James Blake's "nice guy" image phony?

vogus
10-05-2006, 03:21 AM
The American sports media loves James Blake and they jump at every chance to tell you what a great guy he is. However, if Vinny Spadea's book is to be believed, Blake is not so well-liked by some of his fellow pros. I know a guy who played against Blake in the juniors in Connecticut who said Blake and his brother Thomas were the two most stuck-up guys in the state and nobody could stand them. So Spadea is apparently not the only tennis player who has had some run-in's with James...

Johnny Groove
10-05-2006, 03:25 AM
because blake in the Connecticut Junior cicuit and the James of today are THE SAME PERSON. He hasnt changed since he was a teenager :rolleyes:

And Vinnay Ice is a reputable source :rolleyes:

GlennMirnyi
10-05-2006, 03:27 AM
Does it matter? I mean... big deal, does that diminish him as a player?

MarieS
10-05-2006, 03:28 AM
I agree with this 100%.
Blake is the biggest asshole in tennis. I mean, if Vince Spadea says it, it MUST be true. :shrug:

Fee
10-05-2006, 03:47 AM
James Blake ate my baby (and Andy was mad because he has been the top baby eating American tennis player for years).

hanabishi
10-05-2006, 03:58 AM
The problems with the "Oh, this person told me this guy is an asshole," argument are many. Besides the fact that it's hearsay, there's the fact that many people who talk about their experiences with a player are describing quick interactions that only last a few minutes (if they're lucky). You could probably take any of the top players and there will be people who have good stories to tell about meeting them as well as people who have stories to tell about them where they weren't at their best behavior for some reason, be it a bad day or a long day or whatever.

Not that I condone anyone treating someone rudely just because they want to take out their problems on the nearest available target, but I wouldn't judge a person's entire character on a single incident of that nature either.

With that said, I think it should be fairly obvious to anyone that a huge part of Blake's "nice" image is a marketing thing, but neither do I think that he is some evil figure hiding behind some mask that his agency has created for him. :shrug:

Well said, J'torian!:yeah:

ServeAlready81
10-05-2006, 04:40 AM
My thing is, this info came from VINCE SPADEA of all people. The player who hardly can even get other players to even hit with. James has plenty of friends on tour, including pretty much all the other American players except for Vince. Do I hear jealousy?

martinatreue
10-05-2006, 05:29 AM
James Blake is not nice. Neither is Vince Spadea.

robinhood
10-05-2006, 05:33 AM
I am sorry.
I have NO IDEA what Spadea said in his book.
Can someone please just give me a quick and short summary?

dkw
10-05-2006, 05:54 AM
Come on James is a nice guy... I mean with that big trailer he's walking around with on his backside he can't afford to be nasty!

rmb6687
10-05-2006, 06:53 AM
Come on James is a nice guy... I mean with that big trailer he's walking around with on his backside he can't afford to be nasty!

hahah aww

on a more serious note...he doesn't have very nice friends. The JBlock is full of assholes...not a good sign.

And he went to Harvard...nothing but assholes there. ;)

Rogiman
10-05-2006, 08:57 AM
Still don't get why people even bother to find out what players are like off the court, most chances they are not better than the guy next to you and it's safe to assume they're egoistic assholes.

Judge them by their tennis.

World Beater
10-05-2006, 09:00 AM
Still don't get why people even bother to find out what players are like off the court, most chances they are not better than the guy next to you and it's safe to assume they're egoistic assholes.

Judge them by their tennis.

exactly...blake for the most part isnt an asshole on court. off the court, why would anyone care? some people feel the need to personally attach themselves to players.

adee-gee
10-05-2006, 09:03 AM
Still don't get why people even bother to find out what players are like off the court, most chances they are not better than the guy next to you and it's safe to assume they're egoistic assholes.

Judge them by their tennis.
Why am I not surprised that came from a Federer fan :o

World Beater
10-05-2006, 09:10 AM
Why am I not surprised that came from a Federer fan :o

:haha:

why am i not surprised from adee"i like players because of their name" gee.

you want humility, better go somewhere else. dont idolize sportsmen because no matter what you see on tv, none of the top players are humble.

Action Jackson
10-05-2006, 09:12 AM
Still don't get why people even bother to find out what players are like off the court, most chances they are not better than the guy next to you and it's safe to assume they're egoistic assholes.

Judge them by their tennis.

That would be too radical sadly. Like anything some are good and others aren't.

Rogiman
10-05-2006, 09:14 AM
Why am I not surprised that came from a Federer fan :o
You're right, most of them are considerate, well-mannered, thoughtful people, the kind whose world doesn't revolve about themselves.

Nadal is even said to have obtained a PhD in English Literature at Cambridge :worship:

The hell with their tennis, we should all ask ourselves what kind of people they are, who they're dating and whether they're nice to everyone the moment they wake up in the morning.

adee-gee
10-05-2006, 09:16 AM
You're right, most of them are considerate, well-mannered, thoughtful people, the kind whose world doesn't revolve about themselves.

Nadal is even said to have obtained a PhD in English Literature at Cambridge :worship:

The hell with their tennis, we should all ask ourselves what kind of people they are, who they're dating and whether they're nice to everyone the moment they wake up in the morning.
What has Nadal's English got to do with his personality? :scratch:

Anyway, not wishing to go off topic.....I think Blake comes across well, whether it's false I don't know but from what I've seen of him, I think he's sound.

WF4EVER
10-05-2006, 10:29 AM
Strange that this is the one of the first threads to catch my eye this morning. It just reminded me that I dreamt James tried to fuck me last night. The only reason he didn't was becuase he couldn't find a condom, but that was after he had tongued me off mercilessly.

Who gives a fuck if James' 'nice guy" image is phony? Are you looking for role models for your kids? Turn to fucking congress.

nobama
10-05-2006, 11:03 AM
it's safe to assume they're egoistic assholes.

And why should we assume this?

tangerine_dream
10-05-2006, 02:34 PM
James' nice guy image is about as phony as Roger Federer's.

Heh. :devil: ;) :p

rmb6687
10-05-2006, 03:46 PM
Strange that this is the one of the first threads to catch my eye this morning. It just reminded me that I dreamt James tried to fuck me last night. The only reason he didn't was becuase he couldn't find a condom, but that was after he had tongued me off mercilessly.

Who gives a fuck if James' 'nice guy" image is phony? Are you looking for role models for your kids? Turn to fucking congress.


:eek: Don't do that either!! Humans, as a general rule are horrible role models

cobalt60
10-05-2006, 03:49 PM
The American sports media loves James Blake and they jump at every chance to tell you what a great guy he is. However, if Vinny Spadea's book is to be believed, Blake is not so well-liked by some of his fellow pros. I know a guy who played against Blake in the juniors in Connecticut who said Blake and his brother Thomas were the two most stuck-up guys in the state and nobody could stand them. So Spadea is apparently not the only tennis player who has had some run-in's with James...

So my question to you is: would you buy a used car from Vinnay the man or not?
You have to have some sort of ego to get to the top no matter what field you are in. However having an ego and being an asshole are two different things. When I get to have dinner with Mr Blake I will let you know;)

cobalt60
10-05-2006, 03:50 PM
Strange that this is the one of the first threads to catch my eye this morning. It just reminded me that I dreamt James tried to fuck me last night. The only reason he didn't was becuase he couldn't find a condom, but that was after he had tongued me off mercilessly.

Who gives a fuck if James' 'nice guy" image is phony? Are you looking for role models for your kids? Turn to fucking congress.

I am the role model for my kids.

BlakeJamitis
10-05-2006, 03:53 PM
Wow - all this over speculation. James is cool peeps. As an AA, I wondered if he would speak to me or cater to his caucasian supporters after his practice session. I found it funny when he gave me this long stare-down that either said, "why is this thug looking dude wearing my J-Bloc shirt" OR "he's the same complexion as my dad." At any rate, he actually had like a 30 sec convo with me - so back up off Blake. lol

Dusk Soldier
10-05-2006, 03:58 PM
He walks like a stuck up person, but he seems very nice in his interviews.

He's probably one of those people with poor people skills.

Langers
03-03-2007, 03:17 PM
I honestly believe he is a very nice guy.

Naide
03-03-2007, 03:20 PM
And he went to Harvard...nothing but assholes there. ;)

:haha:

Rogiman
03-03-2007, 03:26 PM
He's still not phony in Agassi's standards :)

Wannabeknowitall
03-03-2007, 03:28 PM
He walks like a stuck up person, but he seems very nice in his interviews.



He had severe scoliosis.
How exactly do you expect him to walk?

SushiMinimal
03-03-2007, 03:39 PM
Absolutely. He's just a mask

nobama
03-03-2007, 03:46 PM
GM has now turned into lets bash Blake and call him a phony. How predictable. Can we leave the bashing to those who really deserve it like Mr. Disney?

GlennMirnyi
03-03-2007, 03:47 PM
He's still not phony in Agassi's standards :)

That is almost impossible for Blake to reach, anyway. :p ;)

mickymouse
03-03-2007, 03:49 PM
It's the 21st century. It's no longer cool nor hip to be nice so I don't see why he would want to fake it.

jocaputs
03-03-2007, 03:49 PM
James Blake is a dangerous criminal and should be life imprisoned

Action Jackson
03-03-2007, 03:56 PM
He's still not phony in Agassi's standards :)

Even at his worst, he could never get close to that fraudster.

All I will say is that he hasn't helped himself in the past few days.

MisterQ
03-03-2007, 03:59 PM
Humans, as a general rule are horrible role models

:worship:

my0118
03-03-2007, 04:06 PM
James' nice guy image is about as phony as Roger Federer's.

Heh. :devil: ;) :p

The difference between them is Roger is a nice guy but he wants to be nicer and look better in the media, James is an asshole who wants to be like a refined person who praises for every player he faces nothing but in the press.

Actually I dimly remember Blake's interview about Nadal somewhere on MTF during the AO. He said Nadal could beat anyone, right? He just could've said Nadal is a great player and I am sure he was definitely conscious of his h2h against Nadal while he was saying. what a phony he is.:angel:

Johnny Groove
03-03-2007, 04:10 PM
James is a good guy, hes just easily manipulated by Disney.

Clara Bow
03-03-2007, 04:11 PM
I've met a number of sprots figures and celebrites through work and other connections- and I can honestly say that James was one of the nicest- and frankly seemed really the most genuine.

We had a real conversation (I have scoliosis and did not get it treated when I was young because it was not as bad as it is now and we discussed the disease). I don't think he's perfect. But I do think he is a good guy. No one is perfect.

delsa
03-03-2007, 04:13 PM
I believe he's really a nice guy but i have to admit i don't know much about him.

Action Jackson
03-03-2007, 04:16 PM
Thomas Blake is the better one.

Clara Bow
03-03-2007, 04:23 PM
Thomas Blake is the better one.

And has the same hair as the fella in your avatar. ;)

MrJ
03-03-2007, 04:29 PM
Who cares, I love watching tennis not personality idol!!

ServeAlready81
03-03-2007, 04:40 PM
Who cares, I love watching tennis not personality idol!!

Exactly.... It's funny how people are saying James is fake, but he hasn't really done anything to prove he isn't a nice guy. When James starts regularly putting down/being a smart ass to umpires (Roddick), mimmicking an injured opponent (Coria), saying rude things about opponents in press conferences (Ljubicic), or pulling out the race card (Hewitt)...then we can talk.

mtw
03-03-2007, 05:52 PM
He seems to be quite nice and plays quite good. One thing is sure - he is not such unpleasant and impudent, as Roddick.

tennischick
03-03-2007, 06:15 PM
The American sports media loves James Blake and they jump at every chance to tell you what a great guy he is. However, if Vinny Spadea's book is to be believed, Blake is not so well-liked by some of his fellow pros. I know a guy who played against Blake in the juniors in Connecticut who said Blake and his brother Thomas were the two most stuck-up guys in the state and nobody could stand them. So Spadea is apparently not the only tennis player who has had some run-in's with James...

first of all, i have never seen anywhere anyone calling James a nice guy or upholding a nice guy image. James' PR is that of the plucky survivor, the victim who beats the odds, the half-Black dude from Harlem with scoliosis who almost broke his neck on the court and then lost his Dad. [violin music starts playing here]. :violin:

but nice guy? not the same IMO. :ras:

Rosa Luxembourg
03-03-2007, 07:43 PM
Not sure about phony, but hypocrite is for sure.

kristanmichelle
03-03-2007, 08:22 PM
Probably he is a nice enough person, but I do not think that really matters. No one is going to be perfect, and expecting them to be is not rational. The whole RR mess was not his fault and he did what all tennis players would do in his position.

blueskye
03-03-2007, 08:45 PM
I don't know why some people go to such great lenghts to try and charachterise him. He seems like a genuinly nice and honest guy, but I have never met him so I don't know that for sure. All the people who are calling him an "asshole", are you making that judgemtent by what you have read in the papers and seen on TV? Cause in real life, things may be a whole lot different from your perception of a person whom you have never met on a face to face basis ;)

cmurray
03-03-2007, 08:50 PM
This thread is very interesting.

I dunno. I'm not sure I agree that people should only care about the tennis and not the personality of the player involved. One of the reasons I love tennis so much is that it allows me to "get to know" the athletes. Its why I love watching Marat play. We get to experience his full range of emotions right along with him...its pretty exhilirating.

If who and what the players are TRULY didn't matter, we could all just as easily watch sophisticated robots create amazing shot after amazing shot. I need more from sports than just athletic prowess. I'm not saying that I don't appreciate good tennis when I see it - I do - but its not the ONLY thing I appreciate.

DhammaTiger
03-03-2007, 09:13 PM
I didn't care for Blake before the Las Vegas controversy, but now I would root for his opponent in any match. With few exceptions, I don't dislike or hate anybody, especially ppl who haven't seriously harmed me or any other being. The fact is he acted in his self interest when he accepted the rule revarsal,and said may things to justify the rule revarsal which weren't moral or ethical, but that is no grounds to abuse him in my opinion. I like many players who others dislike, and I am not fond of players who others adore; everyone is entitled to their likes and dislikes, but that doesn't entitle a fan of any player to abuse other playerswithout any justification just because his/her favourite player has been abused by another fan. The case I am refering to is Blake's fan who abused Canas without any scintilla or shred of evidence just to exonerate or justify liking Blake, who had been under fire justfiably or unjustifiably by other ppl on this board.

Socket
03-03-2007, 09:15 PM
My opinion of him hasn't changed because I never bought the media portrayal of him as somebody smarter, nicer, better, etc., etc. than the rest of the guys. The media needed a guy like him to use for their stories, and he got the benefit of their fawning attention. I always figured that he was no worse or better than anybody else in the locker room, and I think that's now clear.

About the only thing I hold against him is that he insulted my intelligence by trying to justify de Villiers' decision to blatantly grant him a favor in patently ridiculous terms. If he had just said, "I have no idea what the hell is going on, but de Villiers told him I'm through to the QFs, so I'm happy," I would have just shrugged. But his twisting himself into knots trying to show how "fair" and "common sensical" the decision was just plain stupid, and that's what makes me suspicious that he had something to do with persuading de Villers.

oz_boz
03-04-2007, 11:20 AM
Not anywhere near as phony as Roddick being a "bad guy" on court.

Howard
03-04-2007, 12:08 PM
At best, we get occasional glimpses of the true character of most top sports stars because, if they have any sense, they control and manage their images for marketing purposes. Unless they're like Safin, who doesnít give a damn what people think of him.

However, Blake seems to understand that as an African-American (at least in part) in a sport where there are very few, he will be more highly scrutinized and criticized, and more likely to be held up as role model whether he likes it or not. From what Iíve seen, Iíd say that he usually conducts himself admirably and honorably, in public anyway. As for his private character, Iím sure that, like all of us, he can go from nice guy to total asshole. My guess, and itís only that, is that heís more nice guy than asshole.

OddJob
03-04-2007, 12:21 PM
This thread is very interesting.

I dunno. I'm not sure I agree that people should only care about the tennis and not the personality of the player involved. One of the reasons I love tennis so much is that it allows me to "get to know" the athletes. Its why I love watching Marat play. We get to experience his full range of emotions right along with him...its pretty exhilirating.

If who and what the players are TRULY didn't matter, we could all just as easily watch sophisticated robots create amazing shot after amazing shot. I need more from sports than just athletic prowess. I'm not saying that I don't appreciate good tennis when I see it - I do - but its not the ONLY thing I appreciate.



I feel the same way. Personalities are a big part of tennis.