I missed the live telecast of Game 6 of the NBA Finals, but I watched a tape of it four days later, on June 24. The day before, I had read Jack McCallum's article They're History (June 28). Thanks to McCallum, everything that I saw on TV late in the game was already etched in my mind. Finally a writer who gives Michael Jordan the credit he deserves in fighting controversy after controversy and coming up with big wins.
Michael Jordan didn't three-peat; the Chicago Bulls did. So why was your article all about Jordan? I know he is the best and the Bulls could not have done it without him, but they also couldn't have done it without Scottie Pippen, B.J. Armstrong, Horace Grant, Bill Cartwright, John Paxson and the rest of the team. Isn't it time to acknowledge these players as being the great athletes they have proved to be?
Fort Pierce, Fla.
Granted, Michael Jordan is a great player who has led the Bulls to three straight NBA championships, but you guys overdid it in putting him on the cover three times throughout the playoffs. Please, give us a TO from MJ.
Bryn Mawr, Pa.
I was disgusted by Michael Jordan after the Bulls won the title. Only he would charge to get the game ball instead of celebrating with his teammates. Without doubt, John Paxson should have been the one holding that ball. Jordan might be the best ever, but I'll take Larry Bird or Magic Johnson over him any day. They were unselfish team players.
Jack McCallum's primary reason for anointing Michael Jordan the best player in history is that he "guided an average team to three titles." Unlike Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, Jordan did not have an imposing array of teammates to help him. However, couldn't it just as easily be argued that Jordan's Bulls won their titles against subpar opposition? Look at Chicago's opponents in its three championship series: a battered, aging Los Angeles team that had had its nine-year streak as Pacific Division champion snapped; a Trail Blazer outfit that could charitably be called short on smarts; and a Sun team whose best center, Oliver Miller, was way overweight for most of the season.
True championship mettle is proved by competing against greatness, and that is what Magic and Larry did when they squared off.
Park Ridge, Ill.
McCallum's reason for placing Michael Jordan ahead of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird is that they had great players around them while Jordan docs not. However, Jordan's teammates are much better than they arc given credit for. Jordan has hindered their improvement by consistently insisting on being the offensive focus of the Bulls. What made Magic and Larry the best was the way they made their teammates better. Jordan is the greatest scorer of all time, but basketball is a team game, which he needs to learn.
Evidently the International Hockey League means little to SI, and the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Komets mean even less. On May 21 the Komets won the Turner Cup, the IHL's equivalent of the Stanley Cup, by going 12-0 in the playoffs, yet they didn't get a mention in the next issue of your magazine. Such a remarkable accomplishment is of far more interest than the golf-course-designing business of Robert Trent Jones and his sons, to which SI devoted more than 10 pages; the sleeping habits of a triathlete; the feats of a steeplechase rider; or a page of cartoons, all of which were featured in your May 31 issue. So much for Turner Cup winners.
Fort Wayne, Ind.
With Chicago winning the NBA title, veteran forward Rodney McCray (above) joined a short list of players who have won a state high school championship, an NCAA title and an NBA crown. In the late 1970s he helped lead Mount Vernon High to two consecutive New York state titles. When he was a freshman at Louisville, the Cardinals beat UCLA for the 1980 NCAA crown, and now, having joined the Bulls at the start of last season, he has an NBA championship ring. Magic Johnson is the only other player I know who has accomplished this feat. If there are others, would you please list them?
•Besides McCray and Johnson, who won titles with Lansing [Mich.] High (1977), Michigan State (1979) and the Lakers (1980, '82, '85, '87 and '88), six players have done it: Jerry Lucas (Middletown [Ohio] High, 1958; Ohio State, 1960; Knicks, 1973); Lucius Allen (Wyandotte High in Kansas City, Kans., 1965; UCLA, 1967-69; Bucks, 1971); Quinn Buckner (Thornridge High in Phoenix, Ill., 1971 and '72; Indiana, 1976; Celtics, 1984); Rick Robey (Brother Martin High in New Orleans, 1974; Kentucky, 1978; Celtics, 1981); Milt Wagner (Camden [N.J.] High, 1979; Louisville, 1986; Lakers, 1988); Billy Thompson (Camden [N.J.] High, 1982; Louisville, 1986; Lakers, 1987 and '88).—ED.
TIM DEFRISCO/NBA PHOTOS
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