Rick Telander's straight-forward story about Dennis Rodman (Demolition Man, Nov. 8) was terrific. To know Dennis, as Detroit did for seven years, is to love Dennis. It's just too bad that some people cannot understand what emotions can do to a person. Thank you for portraying Dennis as you did.
Bay City, Mich.
If Dennis Rodman thinks he would feel more normal without a lot of money, then I volunteer to be a little more abnormal.
I have enclosed my address for the next time that he feels like dropping $35,000. Please pass it along to the Worm. I have been feeling a little too normal lately.
JOHN R. KNAUF
Has anyone ever considered the idea that Rodman is just plain nuts?
BRUCE A. BERGQUIST
November 29, 1993
In Phil Taylor's article :24 Questions, No. 12 upset me greatly. You asked who, other than Chris Webber, Shawn Bradley and Anfernee Hardaway, might gain Rookie of the Year honors. You mentioned Isaiah Rider and, as a sleeper, Lindsey Hunter. Please! Ever heard of a man named Jamal Mashburn? Mashburn has the skills and heart to become a superstar. The Monster Mash is already flourishing in Dallas.
College Station, Texas
I really enjoyed your Nov. 8 POINT AFTER by Kevin McHale. Besides being a great player, he is a class individual, something of a rarity in sports these days. Thanks for the memories, Kevin. You will not be forgotten.
JAMES W. LYNES JR.
Although it's nice that Kevin McHale, now retired after 13 magnificent seasons, has more time for his children and for pheasant hunting, he already sounds more like the bitter old man he claims he will never become than the contented retiree he claims to be. His attempts to degrade Michael Jordan and today's new breed of superstars convey the petty jealousies of a man who spent a career playing second fiddle on his own team. Jordan, at the time of his retirement, was the best player in the NBA and a member of the best team in the NBA. His departure affects the whole league, not just the Chicago Bulls.
Yes, Kevin, some people do believe Jordan's Bulls could have beaten Bird's Celtics and Magic's Lakers. But while the greatest team and player of this era will always be a matter of some conjecture, shouldn't the fact that Jordan led his supposedly inferior team to three consecutive NBA titles—a feat that neither Bird nor Magic accomplished—say something about his place among the game's greats?
To the Reader
Julia M. Weaver of Hampton, Va., has sued SPORTS ILLUSTRATED over a statement that appeared in our Oct. 25, 1993, story Southern Discomfort on the jail sentence given to Allen Iverson, a Hampton star athlete, after his conviction on charges arising out of a brawl at a Hampton bowling alley. The part of our story Weaver complains about said:
The woman at the counter sent them to the end of the alley, to a lane against the wall. To Michael Simmons, the tight end who has been a pal of Iverson's since grade school, that always seemed to happen. You boys, over there. By the time they got their shoes and balls, it was 10:30. The place was rocking.
Although SI did not name her in the story, Weaver has told us that she was the only woman at the counter in the bowling alley and that she believes the article makes her appear to be a racist.
It was not SI's intention to direct attention of any kind to Weaver. That is why she was not identified by name. It was also not our intention to blame her in any way for the events that ensued in the bowling alley that night for, as the story made clear, the incident was caused solely by the encounter between Iverson and Steve Forrest and members of their respective parties. No bowling alley employee was culpable in any way. SI did not say or imply that either Weaver or any other bowling alley employee was a racist. We reported Simmons's personal perception of the evening as he recounted it to our writer, Ned Zeman. It was apparent to SI that the sentencing of Iverson created a racial divide in Hampton and that Simmons, from his jail cell, believed that even the assignment of a lane was a racial issue.
Julia Weaver is blameless. We apologize for any inconvenience the story may have caused her.
Letters to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and should be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020-1393.