LIEUT. COL. FRANCIS J. ROBERTS
Graduate manager of athletics
I disagree with Shue. In basketball you've got to get those rebounds. The really big men do have a great advantage, because to win in basketball, possession is paramount. Maybe an exception would be five Cousys on a team, but you see a Cousy in basketball once in a generation.
Yes. It wouldn't even be a contest. We'd kill them. Most of the small men, up to 6'5", were centers once and can pivot. A team of-George Yardley of Fort Wayne, Paul Arizin of the Warriors and Bill Sharman, Jim Loscutoff and Bob Cousy of the Celtics couldn't be beaten. I'd probably be a substitute.
No. In my estimation, the most important thing in basketball is getting the rebound. The bigger men get the rebounds and then start the ball toward the other team's basket. The more rebounds a team gets, the more tries they have for the basket. I'd love to play those little guys.
Generally, no, but it can happen. Even if we had our choice of players 6 feet 5 and under, we wouldn't stand a chance in a 10-game series. In one game, maybe. Why don't you ask the publisher of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED to promote this game annually and start a pension fund for basketball players?
April 8, 1957
New Rochelle, N.Y.
I can't go along with Gene Shue. He's a small man like I am, 6'2". I'm an old football end. Today I'd have little chance snaring a pass against a really big end like Harlon Hill of the Chicago Bears. Men under 6 feet 5 inches would be as handicapped in basketball.
Onetime football referee
You might be able to assemble one team of very big men that could lick all comers, but that would be all. There's not more than a half-dozen of them playing basketball. The other really big guys are still in the goon stage. Any number of smaller teams could be assembled to beat them.
St. John's University
Yes, the small men, including Cousy and Sharman, would press all over the court and win. This game was going to be played in Boston, but never was. Why doesn't SPORTS ILLUSTRATED promote it in Madison Square Garden? Red Auerbach, Celtic coach, and I would love to coach the little men.
G. HERBERT McCRACKEN
It would be no contest. The team of big men would win easily. Today's big man is highly flexible and agile, with excellent reflexes and fair speed. A team of Cousys couldn't handle Maurice Stokes (6'7"), Mel Hutch-ins (6'6"), Neil Johnston (6'8"), Dolph Schayes (6'8") and Bob Pettit (6'9").
Yes and no. It can happen because, in colleges, teams made up of small men have often licked the big fellows. But it depends on who the big fellows are. If the best five big men in our league played together, I don't think that any team of players under 6 feet 5 inches could beat them.
A.L. (SHORTY) HARDMAN
Charleston, W. Va. Gazette
No. Let's face it. A man of 6'8" used to be a basketball freak. Today he's a well-coordinated, speedy individual with a distinct advantage over the small player. I'll have to disagree with Shue. Height is of the essence, and the big boys will always prevail under the present rules.
The question on explorers, scheduled for this week, has been postponed