THE MAIL

March 04, 2013

I fail to see how so many people can leave Wilt Chamberlain out of the "best player ever" conversation in favor of Michael Jordan. Jordan is a legend, but Chamberlain is the only player to average at least 30 points and 20 rebounds per game in a season, a feat he accomplished seven times. He even led the league in assists (702) during the 1967--68 season. I don't think I'm the only one who would take Wilt first if I were starting a team.

Bill Robitelle, Pembroke, N.H.

All About MJ

I appreciate that you dedicated your Feb. 18 issue to Michael Jordan's 50th jubilee. However, I found that something essential to Jordan's legacy was missing from your 50 Reasons We'll Never Forget MJ list. How could you forget Jordan's sincere, charming, benevolent, confident smile? That million-dollar grin will forever be endearing.

Alexander Gusinov, Canton, Mass.

While I enjoyed all aspects of your Jordan retrospective, I feel the need to make note of another area of his greatness. Jordan's nine first-team All-Defensive selections are a phenomenal feat. It's hard to argue against a player who consistently delivered league-best performances at both ends of the court, especially given that many top players are hard-pressed to play defense these days.

Frank Irving, Hatfield, Pa.

I take issue with Phil Taylor's claim that "the case can be made that no one has ever been better at his or her profession than Jordan was at his." While Jordan's basketball abilities will never be in doubt, I think Wayne Gretzky's talent on the ice was superior to Jordan's on the court. Gretzky is the leading point scorer in NHL history and is the only NHL player to total more than 200 points in a season, a feat he accomplished four times. Upon retiring in 1999, Gretzky held more than 50 NHL records, many more than Jordan held in the NBA.

Alan Newman, Yonkers, N.Y.

Your article about Jordan and the 1988 NBA Slam Dunk Contest (This Dunk) brought back a lot of memories. As great as Jordan's performance was, I still believe that Dominique Wilkins was robbed of the dunk title that year. Wilkins's two-handed windmill in the fourth round was much more impressive than the famous Jordan effort. I can still remember the incredulous shock of the announcer when 'Nique was given only 45 points by the judges. I will always be convinced that the judges were biased, sitting in Chicago Stadium and knowing what they would face if they didn't fall on their swords for Jordan.

Jim Shaughnessy, East Greenbush, N.Y.

I enjoyed the pictures of Jordan's dunks and tongue wagging, but you missed his real signature move: the push-off. Jordan was indeed great, but he pushed off to get open more than any other player in the NBA, past or present.

Jeff Peaslee, Versailles, Ind.

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SOCIAL MEDIA

It looks as if Alex Smith's time in San Francisco is all but over. Where do you think he'll end up next season?

Michael Pettis

He'll likely end up in Kansas City at a discounted price. However, I doubt he'll be a much better choice than what the Chiefs had in Matt Cassel.

Terrence Harris-Hughes Arizona. The Cardinals need a quarterback. They have the defense, a decent running game and a top receiver. They just need that last piece.

Jason Kalka I wouldn't be surprised if the Cowboys went after him for whenever Tony Romo gets injured behind that joke of an offensive line.

Charlie Kraebel Buffalo would be a good fit for Smith, but I believe he'll wind up in Kansas City.

Keek Ruiz What if he went to Oakland? I'm no Raiders fan, but imagine Smith in an offense with all the Raiders' young receivers!

Vince Hale We'll take him in Jacksonville.

Joseph Ferranti Based on the fact that the Jets do not have a solid QB, Smith could end up in New York.

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