Your NBA championship cover photograph (June 22) was great! One picture told it all: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. What a fitting tribute to the greatness of the Lakers. Hail to Kareem and to Magic Johnson for one heck of a job.
I hate the Lakers and love the Celtics, but, oh, what a cover! One of the best I've seen. My compliments to photographer Peter Read Miller.
Enclosed are the shreds of your June 22 cover. You have finally crossed the fine line. When the Celtics win the championship, they maybe make the cover, while the boys from La La Land get a foldout!
I am a longtime Boston Celtics fan and the last thing I wanted to read about was "Glitz Time in La La Land" (Me and My Good Friends, June 15). The mere sight of that Los Angeles crowd was nauseating. But after laughing all the way through Curry Kirkpatrick's piece, I could only hope that while the showbiz kids were "doing lunch," they also had a chance to glance at the article. Well done, Curry!
I want to thank my very good friend Curry for his article about all of our very good friends at the Forum. What a wonderfully fun story!
Offensive foul on Kirkpatrick for his slam dunk of Albany, N.Y., (or as he would have it, "Albany—yuck—N.Y."). His derogation of New York's capital is pure dribble. Just ask Laker coach Pat Riley, who grew up in Schenectady, a three-point shot away from Albany. I'm sure Riley would come to my defense and criticize Kirkpatrick for his poor shot selection.
MARY BETH LABATE
Waterford, N. Y.
Kirkpatrick is so cool he can put down the capital of New York, my hometown. Geez, maybe my good friend Mike Tyson, from Catskill, N.Y., should come visit his house.
Grand Junction, Colo.
My favorite sportswriter used to be Curry—yuck—Kirkpatrick.
LOIS A. STIGLMEIER
I am absolutely crushed! By my 30th birthday, I had completed only 51 of Rick Reilly's 53 requirements to qualify as a male sports sophisticate (POINT AFTER, June 22). Fortunately, fulfilling the 52nd one, albeit belatedly, was easy. I dug through the closet in my office, located my old Jack Kramer tennis racket and discarded it. Now all I have to do is wait for the Knicks to call and offer me a coaching position.
Rest assured I have not given up hope. As you know, the opera's not over till the fat lady sings.
DONALD K. BYRNES
What was Bevo Francis? I'm almost 30—and worried.
I know Bevo Francis scored an NCAA-record 113 points for Rio Grande College in a 1954 basketball game, but how many shot-and-beer guys follow the World, Ryder and Davis cup competitions? Fenway and Wrigley? O.K. Chavez Ravine? Too uptown. By tipping a caddie, did Reilly mean turning over one of General Motors' finest? Where I come from, $100 is half a season's membership at the golf course!
Reilly left out the most important thing one must do before turning 30: Stop reading magazines like Gentlemen's Quarterly!
FATHERS AND SONS
That was a superb piece by Philip Singerman (FIRST PERSON, June 15). While apple pie and mom are truly part of Americana, a dad playing catch with his son has to rank right up there, too.
ROBERT R. SANCHEZ
Our eight-year-old, Gavin, began his first season of youth softball this spring, proudly bearing the glove (old, battered and well loved) that had been his dad's in junior and senior high school. We offered him a new glove, but he didn't want to part with this treasure. He said his little brother could get a new one.
The bond formed by a baseball glove and hours of catching in the yard is something very precious to both parent and child. Philip Singerman captured a piece of this for us. Dad got a new glove at our house, too.
BOYS CLUB BUDDIES
When you featured the Detroit Pistons' Isiah Thomas and the Atlanta Hawks' Glenn (Doc) Rivers on your May 18 cover, you probably weren't aware that these two gentlemen—and a third NBA standout, the Dallas Mavericks' Mark Aguirre—were childhood buddies at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boys Club in Chicago. I understand they had a pretty good winning streak in pickup games.
Recent SI covers have featured several other Boys Club alumni, including Magic Johnson (Lansing, Mich.), Sugar Ray Leonard (Prince Georges County, Md.), Greg Louganis (East County, in El Cajon, Calif.) and Gary Carter (Fuller-ton, Calif.). I have not seen Boys and Girls Club of Omaha alumna Lynette Woodard on your cover yet, but I'm keeping an eye out.
TIMOTHY L. RICHARDSON
Boys Clubs of America
North Hollywood, Calif.
Having carefully watched this year's NBA playoffs, I have concluded that the game has become impossible to officiate. The most flagrant abuses occur in traveling and "boxing out" situations.
A popular argument says that the greatest players should enjoy a certain latitude, but the degree of foot shuffling, especially "in the paint," is almost laughable. If we want more athleticism, let's change the rule. Boxing out used to entitle a player to protect a space on the floor by placing his body between his opponent and the basket. It did not entitle him to ride his opponent off the court or to throw clothesline forearms. Basketball was once a finesse sport that tolerated a certain degree of contact. It now seems the opposite is true.
JAMES M. MCMAHON
River Vale, N.J.
Recently (POINT AFTER, May 25), Jack McCallum spoke out against NBA expansion and the inevitable dilution of an already too thin league. I believe the following observation serves to emphasize his point: Only four times in this year's playoffs, which included 15 series matchups, was a deciding final game needed. A seventh (or fifth) and deciding game is the ultimate contest, and after enduring a season of meaningless games, we fans were treated to that ultimate game in only 27% of the playoff series. The NBA's claim that it is "fantastic" is rapidly becoming a fantasy.
ALAN J. MILLER
IN THE SWIM
During a visit to the U.S. last year, I purchased a copy of your swimsuit issue (Feb. 10, 1986). After studying your pictures (models and scenery), I concluded that French Polynesia should be the place for my next vacation. In April 1987, I left Norway to spend three weeks on Tahiti, Huahine, Bora Bora and Rangiroa. Since I was sure that you would not have left any of your nice-looking models behind, I brought my girlfriend, Marianne Kristinsen, with me. Here is a picture of Marianne taken at Motu Roa on Bora Bora. (The technical quality is not as good as yours, but I think my "model" is.)
We would like to thank you for picking this paradise for your swimsuit issue (and for our vacation). We are looking forward to your upcoming issues for new vacation ideas.
ERIK C. NYGAARD
ERIK C. NYGAARD
Letters to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and should be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020-1393.