Ripped Net

Kenyon Martin (Good and Nasty, April 29) wonders why he is
considered an on-court thug? Well, six flagrant fouls and seven
game suspensions may have something to do with it. However, now
that we've seen him on the cover of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED with a
menacing scowl, his proudly displayed bad ass tattoo and his
right hand balled into a fist, I'm sure that he has convinced
everyone that he is a harmless choirboy.

If ever there is a time to wish for the dreaded SI Cover Jinx,
it's with this jerk.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If people ask you
why nobody cares about the NBA anymore, show them your cover
photo of Kenyon Martin.
Kingwood, Texas

The article on Martin was great. Kmart is taking a lot of heat
because of his attitude and actions on the court. I don't see
anything wrong with his style of play because he's just being
himself. I'll bet that every one of his teammates loves him for
his fire. He will mature, and then we will look back at his
actions and see them as a part of growing up in the NBA.

Seeing two members of the Nets on the cover of SI in the same
season is the New Jersey basketball equivalent to Bruce
Springsteen's being on the cover of TIME and Newsweek during the
same week in October 1975. As a longtime Nets fan I've witnessed
the horrors of the Meadowlands, but I never gave up, and this
year has been worth all the bad years.
TIM FARRELL,Ridgewood, N.J.

Draft Bored

Jerry Jones (Anatomy of a Draft, April 29) should take a minute
to get his priorities straight. That he can sit in the "war room"
and talk about how he will "be crucified" if he makes a mistake
disgusts me. I understand that running a professional football
team takes lots of hard work, but wouldn't we all be better off
if we paid more attention to soldiers fighting for freedom than
to a man picking human beings to work for him? After all, losing
a draft pick probably would not wreck a man's life the same way a
bullet would.

Nipping at Bud

A hearty thanks to Tom Verducci (No Friends in High Places, April
29) for highlighting the shameful double standard of commissioner
Bud Selig when it comes to the future of the competitive Twins
and the bumbling Brewers. I nearly fell out of my chair when Bud
suggested that the Royals needed to overhaul their park. Kauffman
Stadium is one the most beautiful places to watch a baseball
game, while the Brewers' taxpayer-financed Miller Park has poor
sight lines and feels as if it were built on a Superfund site.
Let's contract Bud.
Tuckahoe, N.Y.

Bravo to Tom Verducci for exposing Bud Selig for the buffoon he
is, contraction for the joke it is, and the Milwaukee Brewers for
the sham they are. Verducci's inspection of the Brewers
succinctly demonstrates everything that is wrong with baseball.
Win Twins!
R.D. STURTZ, Albert Lea, Minn.

Box Cutters

I could not agree more with Rick Reilly's article on the "hideous
luxury box" (THE LIFE OF REILLY, April 29). The article reminded
me of a quote by the late Bill Veeck, onetime owner of the
Chicago White Sox: "I have discovered, in 20 years of moving
around a ballpark, that the knowledge of the game is usually in
inverse proportion to the price of the seats."
CLIFF ORR, Athens, Ga.

The luxury box is a total distraction from the game. When you're
sitting up there, you are more worried about the mustard stain
you just got on your shirt than you are about the game. You could
stick a brick wall in front of the occupants, and half wouldn't
care, while the other half wouldn't notice. If luxury boxes
weren't in arenas, we could fit in more seats for fans.
SCOTT SENIOR, Flower Mound, Texas

Rick, here's the real answer to number 2: "When the home team is
making its furious fourth-quarter rally to pull ahead by one
point, luxury box patrons are": d) well on their way home, since
there's no chance they're staying for all that traffic.
JASON MAZDA, Berwyn, Pa.

If you have the money, why not watch a three-hour baseball game
inside? Air conditioning, food without getting up, commentary; if
you don't enjoy sitting in the sun, it's no one else's business
if you sit inside.

Bad Manners

During last year's NHL playoffs, The Star-Spangled Banner was
lightly booed in Edmonton during the Oilers-Dallas Stars
first-round series. Rick Reilly promptly retaliated by directing
insults at Canadians (THE LIFE OF REILLY, April 30, 2001). Now O
Canada has been harshly booed in Detroit and New York during the
2002 NBA and NHL playoff games. These unnecessary boos follow
only one week after four Canadian soldiers fell victim to
American "friendly fire" while supporting the U.S. in
Afghanistan. I would like to know what you have to say now for
your beloved Americans, Mr. Reilly.
CHRIS NEWTON, Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia