Letters

July 11, 1999

Richard Williams is living proof that you can buy everything but
class.
--ENRIQUE SCHNEIDER, El Paso

Life with Father

While S.L. Price may be right that Richard Williams has
brilliantly guided the tennis careers of his daughters Venus and
Serena, both sisters have demonstrated a surprising lack of
professionalism, particularly during close matches at major
tournaments (Who's Your Daddy? May 31). Their in-your-face
attitude will never substitute for proper court conduct. Venus
and Serena are both amazing athletes, but they do not command
the same kind of respect as players like Steffi Graf, Monica
Seles or Mary Joe Fernandez.
GREG SILKENSEN, Longmont, Colo.

I am disgusted with the article on the Williams family. The city
of Compton was good to them. We, as I remember it, gave Mr.
Williams a key to Tragniew Park so his girls could practice at
any time. This park had two of the best tennis courts in the
state of California. How much did they pay? It was free. The
courts did require upkeep by city crews. Mrs. Williams said, "I
was ashamed to say I lived in Compton." I am proud to say I live
in Compton.
MAXCY D. FILER, Compton, Calif.

HUZZAHS FOR HAMM

Grant Wahl should not be so critical of Mia mania (SCORECARD,
May 31). Girls need role models, and there could not be a better
one than Mia Hamm. She has had this mantle of celebrity thrust
upon her and has handled it with such poise and charm that she
is adored by teammates, her young fans and their parents. Hamm's
grace off the field is as important as her competitive spirit on
the field.
KAREN MCINTYRE, Greenville, S.C.

Hamm is the finest soccer player, male or female, the U.S. has
produced. As for her being "quite ordinary...in the tournaments
that have counted most, she has been the Americans' fourth best
goal scorer each time," there is so much more to being a good
player than scoring. The hallmark of any exceptional athlete is
her or his ability to improve the performance of teammates by
setting an example or by making the right play to set someone
else up to score. Hamm has consistently proved herself a leader.
COLLEEN DION, Girard, Pa.

MAN OF THE MOMENT

I enjoyed your article about Tim Duncan and the Spurs
dismantling the confused and over-hyped Lakers (Easy Does It,
May 31). The only issue I had with the article is your claim
that Shaquille O'Neal "has to be the hardest worker in the
league." Get real! If Shaq worked hard, he would have found a
way to shoot better than 47.5% in this series from the free
throw line.
JIM NEWSOME, Florence, Ky.

Duncan brings class to the NBA: college graduate, great work
ethic and no attitude. I'll take his substance over the Lakers'
style any day.
CHUCK HOUSKA, Clemmons, N.C.

Richard Hoffer hasn't been paying attention. He said that Tim
Duncan doesn't have sex appeal. Duncan has plenty of sex appeal.
HEATHER STROUTH, New Braunfels, Texas

STAMP OUT BASKETBRAWL

The NBA can try all sorts of new rules in hopes of increasing
scoring, but nothing will change until referees make calls as if
they are officiating basketball games, not wrestling matches
(SCORECARD, May 31). The refs should be forced to watch games
from the 1960s and '70s, when basketball was a game of skill.
MIKE LORRAINE, Simi Valley, Calif.

Before changing the rules to improve scoring, the NBA should try
something really radical: Enforce the current rules!
MARK A. CAVAZOS, Dallas

To enliven games and de-brutalize basketball, the NBA should
take a page from the NHL rule book and adopt the penalty box. A
flagrant or technical foul would earn a player two to five
minutes on the sideline, while his team would work shorthanded
against its opponent's five-on-four power-play offense.
MIKE BARRETT, Neenah, Wis.

A POX ON RICK

New curses to add to Rick Reilly's list (THE LIFE OF REILLY, May
31):

--May you get one at bat in the big leagues--hitting lefty
against Randy Johnson.

--May you be drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles with the No. 2
pick.

--May you have George Steinbrenner as your boss.
RICH KNOPKE, New York City

May Reilly's wife become an avid Red Wings fan.
ANTHONY B. COVELL, Lawton, Okla.

COLOR PHOTO: HEINZ KLUETMEIER

Team Player

I admire David Robinson for his commitment to his team, but
sacrificing one's stats has occurred before (THE LIFE OF REILLY,
June 14). In 1971, when Bill Sharman took over the Lakers, he
built an offense in which Wilt Chamberlain (above) wouldn't
score as much. His job was to block shots, rebound and pass to
his guards. Wilt did just that and the Lakers won the 1971-72
NBA title.
ED FORTUNA, Sparta, N.J.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)