End of an Era
Jack McCallum is correct when he portrays Kobe Bryant as being the main catalyst in the Lakers‚Äô recent dismantling (The End, July 26). Kobe‚Äôs selfishness cannot be tolerated within Phil Jackson‚Äôs triangle offense. Michael Jordan was able to make the transformation from the best player on a bad team to the best player on the best team because the Zen Master successfully reshaped MJ‚Äôs psyche. Kobe‚Äôs youthful narcissism would not allow Jackson to enter his mind.
David L. Wyant Jr., Sarasota, Fla.
Please check your calendar. If you were going to put an athlete in a yellow jersey on the cover, it should have been the leader of the Tour de France.
August 15, 2004
Michael Goldsmith, Las Vegas
What does it say that on your cover Shaq is soaking wet and Kobe doesn‚Äôt have a drop of sweat on him?
Wes McCarley Temple, Texas
Jerry West figured out where Jerry Buss was headed and decided to get out of town.
Guy T. Saperstein Piedmont, Calif.
The Lakers should have remembered the mistake the Boston Red Sox made in 1920: allowing the most dominant player in the game to get away. Let the Curse of the Diesel begin.
Nolan H. Tanous, East Millinocket, Maine
Wouldn‚Äôt it have made more sense to give your cover to Todd Hamilton, who acknowledged his fellow competitors before himself after his improbable win at the British Open (A Horse for the Gorse, July 26)? Instead you gave more national coverage to two of the biggest √ºber-egos in professional sports.
Andrew J. Otte, San Francisco
The Potty‚Äôs Over
I was saddened to see that SI is following the ever-increasing decline of today‚Äôs standards of decency by publishing the ‚Äúpeeloton‚Äù photo (Scorecard, July 26) of Tour de France racers urinating. Let‚Äôs face it, some things are still better left private and unseen.
Tracey Nelson, Opp, Ala.
Handle with Care
I wouldn‚Äôt wear Maria Sharapova‚Äôs likeness on a T-shirt because people would think I‚Äôm a dirty old man, but how could anyone not be totally awed by this lovely young Russian girl (A Star Is Born, July 26)? She is precisely the kind of classy hero that young people need to look up to today. I hope the people in Maria‚Äôs inner circle recognize what a truly special person she is and do everything possible to protect her. It distressed me greatly to read that her handlers were recklessly endangering her life by speeding down a Connecticut highway at 85 mph just to avoid the paparazzi. We all know the tragic story of Princess Diana, another classy lady who lost her life fleeing the press. Let‚Äôs keep this princess safe so she can conquer even more worlds.
Michael Wilson, St. Louis
You‚Äôll Never Walk Alone
Having dealt with depression and bipolar disorders for most of my life, I was touched by the Al Heppner story (Walking His Life Away, July 26). It is always good to hear that I am not alone with my feelings, and that others are not alone in theirs. Thank you, Al, for gracing this planet as long as you did and for putting race walking on the map.
Jason Hertenstein, Champaign, Ill.
Thanks for wasting seven pages on a ‚Äúsport‚Äù as worthless as walking. After I figured out what the article was about, I immediately speed-walked to the trash can and threw it out.
John Oelschlager, Roanoke, Va.
I commend Gary Smith for writing and SI for publishing the very sad, yet realistic tale of Heppner‚Äôs attempt to earn a spot on the Olympic team. I hope the story enlightened readers about the physical and mental sacrifices so many athletes must make in their quest to compete at the world-class level. God bless all of our athletes ... most important, those who did not make the team but will undoubtedly pick themselves back up and try again.
Patrick Nolan, Orange Park, Fla.
Albert Heppner did not just lose a race. He lost a battle with depression.
Charmaine Gabel, Orlando
Just Be Cos
I read with interest your note on Bill Cosby‚Äôs visit to the Basketball Hall of Fame to open an exhibition featuring his Harlem Globetrotters locker (SCORECARD, July 26). Cosby also went to Springfield to honor a dozen teenage students who persevered in get- ting their educations despite difficult circumstances. He had seen a recent story about two of them in the local newspaper, The Republican. The two high school se-niors were living on their own, working, going to school and playing sports. Cosby arranged a whirlwind college tour for these young men, flying them on his private jet. When they selected Hampton University, Cosby promised them that he would pay for their educations and is buying them each a laptop computer.
Mark Olson, Chicopee, Mass.
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