I was disappointed in your article about Michael Jordan's retirement (The Desire Isn't There, Oct. 18). It was full of pointless speculation and accusations when it should have been a tribute to Jordan's unbelievable basketball career. It has been popular to sit around waiting for him to make mistakes and to relentlessly judge his character and morals. The occasion of Jordan's retirement was not the time to jump on that bandwagon. After all he has done for basketball, all the enjoyment that he has brought to people who have watched him play and all the inspiration he has given young people, the only thing you can give Jordan is an attitude-filled article that sounds as if the reporter's feelings were hurt?
Michael Jordan has earned tens of millions of dollars and has achieved every professional goal he set out to accomplish. How cynical have we become as a society that we cannot accept at face value this man's simple explanation that he no longer wants to spend nine months of the year away from his family and the comforts of his home?
When perhaps the greatest talent in the history of team sports walked away from the game, SI's responsibility to its readers was to acknowledge his immeasurable gifts to basketball. Your article fell short of Jordan's own standards of excellence.
JAMES D. STERN
Jordan may be physically worn from the grind of basketball. His competitiveness drove him to play at 150% most of his career. Eventually his body was going to start to burn out. Just look at what Jordan did during the past year and a half: He won a second world championship with the Bulls in June 1992 and then went to Barcelona to win a gold medal in August. A couple of months after that he was back in Chicago driving for a third NBA title. The man needs a break. Instead of crying because he quit, I'll cherish the memories of watching him play.
I had planned to go to a Bulls game this year and see firsthand the greatest athlete of all time, but unfortunately, now I won't be able to. I will have to settle for watching him on videotapes. Here's hoping Jordan will change his mind so that a few more people can appreciate his unbelievable talent.
What a moving tribute Jordan gave to his slain father, choosing to make his final NBA appearance a championship game for the Bulls with his father in attendance.
I am sick and tired of all the hoopla the press is making over the retirement of Michael Jordan. You act as if he were a kind of god; he is just a man who plays a game. In the grand scheme of world events, Jordan's retirement is utterly unimportant.
JOHN E. KOSOBUCKI
I enjoyed Peter King's analysis of field goal statistics in Kick Start (Oct. 18), but he arrives at his premise by comparing data from the 1993 season with complete-season figures from previous years. It may be a bit premature to signal the increasing dominance of the kick by extrapolating figures from the first six weeks to the end of the season. Kicking accuracy is likely to deteriorate as the season progresses because the weather gets colder and wetter and because pressure on kickers increases as games become more important.
The almost automatic field goal detracts from the game, and steps should be taken to make it more difficult to score three points. I suggest moving the hash marks closer to the sidelines, the way they used to be, making the chip shot more difficult.
JAMES V. LELAURIN
Make a field goal worth just two points.
Institute a rule whereby a field goal may be kicked only if the team has scored a touchdown earlier in the game. This would prevent a team from winning by only converting field goals.
RHODA MAE ABESHAUS
Michael went one-on-one with Oprah to explain why he decided to give up basketball.
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.