Letters

May 03, 2009

I'm 68 years old and only six feet tall, but if I were allowed to put a forearm into the throat of the player who's guarding me, even I would have a pretty good chance of getting the ball into the basket!
John Lewis, Seymour, Ind.

When I saw the April 13 cover, I remembered your March 10, 2008, cover (left), which also featured Tyler Hansbrough's tenacious play in the paint. The difference is that now we can say that Hansbrough is a national champion (Heavenly Heels, April 13)—and also one of the greatest players in NCAA history.
Gregory Lill, Lockport, Ill.

The final games of the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments were over by halftime. This should put to rest the argument that a playoff system guarantees a competitive, entertaining championship game. College football should save us from another edition of bracketology and keep the BCS.
Tom Madden
Greenwood, Ind.

Kids Overdoing It

Thank you for Mark Hyman's article on overuse injuries in young athletes (PLAYERS, April 13). I'm a physician, and I see the spectrum: adults who are obese and ill from inactivity, and adults whose joints have degenerated from excessive exercise and team sports. On a recent vacation I saw many parents out jogging on a cement path with their eight- and 10-year-old kids. When will we all learn the benefits of moderation?
Emily Guimaraes
Brookline, Mass.

Third Is Best

Detroit did boast the NHL's first set of five Russian starters in the 1990s, when we truly were Red Wings. Now Detroit has been transformed into more of a Team Sweden, but Pavel Datsyuk (The Third Russian, April 13) is the best Russian player we have ever had. I am glad to see the unassuming forward finally get some press.
Jonathan Shazri
Manton, Mich.

Figuring Out Findlay

As a high school student who loves watching high school basketball, I can tell you that Findlay Prep is about as close to high school basketball as an orange is to a shoelace (March Madness Comes to High School Hoops, April 13). High school basketball is all about a community coming together to watch the hometown kids play. When players are coming from Toronto and Nigeria, they don't represent a school or a community; they represent themselves trying to be dubbed the "best team" in the land. The article should have been the week's SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE. As in the end of "real" high school sports.
Blake Tandowsky
San Mateo, Calif.

As a father and a coach of travel, AAU and high school basketball teams, there is no question we are heading in the wrong direction with youth basketball. Call the ESPN-sponsored RISE National High School Invitational what it is—a tryout combine for college basketball.
Dale Florio, Skillman, N.J.

One group of kids studies hard and scrubs bathrooms; the other studies hard and helps the poor. It seems both should be regarded equally, yet the contrast between your stories on Findlay Prep's basketball program and Jamie Moyer's family (Only in Baseball, April 13) couldn't have been greater. Moyer and his family are treated warmly, even though Karen Moyer and her seven children spend part of the year in Bradenton, Fla., while Jamie pitches in Philadelphia, so his two oldest boys, who show promise in baseball, can attend IMG Academy. Their dad wants them to have "the best possible coaching. Access to experts in nutrition. Weight training. Good competition. Exposure." How is that different from Findlay Prep's approach to basketball? The difference is simply one of perception. The reality is both places try to further the lives of young people through sports.
Bob Vavra, Glen Ellyn, Ill.

Value Judgment

LeBron James is not the MVP of the league (INSIDE THE NBA, April 13). That honor should belong to Kobe Bryant. Kobe plays in the West, where all eight playoff teams won at least 48 games; in the East only three did. LeBron has been feasting on no-defense, mail-it-in losers.
Michael K. Newlee, San Diego

Pippen Update

I represent Scottie Pippen in litigation pending in the Circuit Court of Cook County (Ill.), and wanted to point out that your article (How and Why Athletes Go Broke, March 23) did not mention that he has already recovered more than $10 million in a lawsuit against his former financial adviser. Additional suits against his former attorneys and accountants are currently being prosecuted and will soon be scheduled for jury trial.
George W. Spellmire, Chicago

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PHOTOJOHN BIEVER PHOTOSTREETER LECKA/GETTY IMAGES (2008 COVER) PHOTO

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