July 21, 1997
July 21, 1997

Table of Contents
July 21, 1997



This is an article from the July 21, 1997 issue Original Layout

How many championships would the Lakers, Celtics, Pistons or
76ers have won had they not had to face each other on the way to
the title?

Emotions such as disappointment, disgust and letdown used to be
associated with Chicago teams (To the Top, June 23), but that
all changed when number 23 banged in the Shot against Cleveland
in the 1989 playoffs. Since then, Chicago fans have been treated
to the greatest contemporary dynasty in sports. Five years from
now, when the Bulls are in the lottery, I'll still have my
videotapes and memories of the glory days. You can have the
Celtics of the '50s and the '60s. Give me da Bulls of the '90s.

No one can deny that Chicago deserves to be called one of the
NBA's greatest dynasties, and its run may not be finished.
However, I disagree with Phil Taylor's assessment that the Bulls
rank higher than the Lakers teams of the 1980s. Chicago and L.A.
each won five titles, but the Lakers earned theirs against far
tougher Finals competition--the Celtics, the Pistons and the
Sixers, teams that won a combined six NBA crowns from 1981 to '90.

If the Bulls win a sixth championship I'll concede, but as
things stand now, I'll stick with the Lakers.
MIKE TREMAGLIO, Southington, Conn.

Phil Taylor's article compares the Bulls' dynasty with dynasties
of the NBA past, but it omits one of the great teams of
yesteryear. The Minneapolis Lakers were the league's first
dynasty; they won five NBA titles in six years, from 1949 to
'54. They had a dominating center in Hall of Famer George Mikan;
two Hall of Fame forwards, Jim Pollard and Vern Mikkelsen; a
Hall of Fame point guard in Slater Martin; and a Hall of Fame
coach, John Kundla.

Those Lakers were the prototype for the modern lineup in their
creation of the power forward, the small forward and the point
guard positions. They give the Bulls one more team to pass in
their ascent of the league's historical hierarchy.
JOSEPH OBERLE, Fridley, Minn.


Merrell Noden eloquently argues that baseball would be more
exciting if parks moved the fences back (POINT AFTER, June 23).
I'd love to see them rolled back 20 feet all around. Nothing
gets fans involved more than a possible triple and a bang-bang
play at third.
MICHAEL G. METZGER, Coronado, Calif.

Noden claims smaller ballparks eliminate great plays, yet every
week I watch highlights of Kenny Lofton and Ken Griffey Jr.
climbing walls, stealing home runs and making diving catches in
the gap. Also in a time when the average fan cannot afford box
seats, the now closer bleachers bring the game closer to the fans.
QUENTIN DEAN JR., Portland, Maine


In your SCORECARD item about Judaism's greatest sports figures
(June 23), I was surprised to see that basketball guard Doron
Sheffer was voted in second place, behind Sandy Koufax, with no
mention of Ernie Grunfeld in the top five. Grunfeld's
22.3-points-per-game average, when he played for the Bernie
(Bernard King) and Ernie Show teams in the '70s, remains a
Tennessee four-season record. He then spent nine seasons in the
NBA as a productive performer for the Kansas City Kings, the
Milwaukee Bucks and the New York Knicks. Since moving to the New
York front office in 1990, Grunfeld has demonstrated so much
management prowess that he is now the president and general
manager of the NBA's most important franchise.
EDWARD KOENIG, Haddonfield, N.J.

Here's my list of Jewish sports figures whom I consider greater,
except for Sandy Koufax, than those on the top five list cited:

Football Hall of Famer Sid Luckman
Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg
Basketball Hall of Famer coach Red Holzman
Harlem Globetrotters founder Abe Saperstein
World champion boxer Max Baer
World champion boxer Benny Leonard
Cy Young Award winner Steve Stone.
JAMES L. COWEN, Highland Park, Ill.

COLOR PHOTO: MANNY MILLAN Grunfeld was a top scorer at Tennessee. [Ernie Grunfeld in game]