When Staff Writer Jerry Tax filed his story on the National Basketball Association playoffs in this issue, he added a note to the editors.
"Maybe because I still have a crick in my neck from looking up (from my 5 feet 7 inches) at another year's crop of basketball players, I've just been looking back at some other people I had the good luck to run into during the season.
"Like the ex-Duke star (Tom Connelly) from Durham, who fills in at Station WNDC during the basketball season. For some time he wondered why he got his SPORTS ILLUSTRATED on Saturday, until he found his mailman was taking it home on Thursdays and delivering it when he was through reading it.
"Like the NCAA officials when we asked for the list of tournament teams early enough to include them in our PREVIEW. They expedited their selections to meet our deadlines because they felt our printing the draw would stimulate pretournament interest.
"Like the writer from America, the U.S. Information Agency magazine distributed abroad, who thanked us at the NCAA finals for his trip to Kansas City. America's editors thought our Jubilation on the Kaw (SI, Feb. 11) brought universal appeal to U.S. basketball and assigned him to the finals for a story patterned after Jubilation.
"Like my plane-seat partner out of Kansas City, whose business was making paper boxes and whose pleasure was hunting. He let his charter subscription to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED lapse, on the theory that his only sports interest was hunting and there were too many other sports in the magazine. 'The theory may have been O.K.,' he said, 'but the practice wasn't. All of a sudden I began to feel a little lonely without it.' He's been with it ever since.
"Every way it's been a helluva basketball season. And I can't wait for the next one to start."
But, like all of us, Jerry Tax will have to wait. For before basketball comes around again there are a few other matters to take up. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is taking some of them up in this very issue: baseball, boxing, hockey, tennis, fishing and even wild flowers. As for hunting, it will come in an early issue, when William Negley tells his own story of how he won his $10,000 bet by killing an elephant with bow and arrow.