If Iverson is the future of the NBA, then the NBA has no future
--DON MAYNARD, Cary, N.C.
Tampa Bay's Warren Sapp was shafted in the NFL draft process,
but he had the intelligence to make his case on the field rather
than in the courts (Buccaneers Blabbermouth, March 9). Yet he
can't understand why he should apologize for putting San
Francisco's Jerry Rice out of commission. Sapp brought down the
greatest receiver in the history of football--and with a dirty
play--robbing Rice, the sport and the fans.
DANIEL MELCON, Norwich, Vt.
In describing how Warren Sapp impatiently overtook an 18-wheeler
"by using an unoccupied on-ramp as a passing lane," you have
glorified reckless and illegal driving. Impressionable readers
will come away thinking that's how stars should behave. As the
editorial director of a magazine for professional truck drivers,
I know that if my readers did something like that, the public
would be outraged.
Road King Magazine
Rick Reilly's story about NBA phenom Allen Iverson of the
Philadelphia 76ers (Counter Point, March 9) revealed a side of
the talented point guard that most of us have never seen.
Beneath the hype and flamboyance lies a 22-year-old kid growing
up under the scrutiny of a world waiting for him to make a
mistake. I hope that the media spotlight that tagged Iverson as
a bad boy from the get-go will not keep him from dazzling us
with jaw-dropping crossovers for years to come.
CHRISTOPHER BECHERER, Evanston, Ill.
I give Iverson a standing ovation for appreciating the mom who
played such an integral part in his climb to the top.
JODIE DANGERFIELD, Chicago
You glorify a 22-year-old who couldn't finish school without
tutoring (given because he could play basketball), was convicted
(later overturned) of a felony, has two kids out of wedlock and
has no respect for his teammates or the game of basketball. The
message sent to kids is that they should strive to have cars,
clothes and jewelry. What a goal.
JAMES N. ROE, Scottsdale, Ariz.
The statement that Iverson's conviction was "reversed by the
state court of appeals due to insufficient evidence" is a bit
misleading. Iverson's conviction was overturned by the court of
appeals of Virginia, but Reilly did not mention that in doing so
the court said that "the evidence would have been sufficient to
prove individual assaultive conduct." In other words, the court
said that Iverson committed assault but that the evidence was
insufficient to support the more esoteric offense of mob
violence with which Iverson had been charged.
JOSHUA M. DAVID and GREGORY B. DAVID
Newport News, Va.
I was disappointed with Richard Hoffer's treatment of Phil
Scaffidi's courageous effort to break the Niagara assist record
despite having adrenal cancer (Scorecard, March 9). Referring to
Scaffidi's record as "highly artificial" and "cheap" darkens an
inspiring story. I was about four years old when Scaffidi died,
and I later graduated from Niagara. I played a thousand times in
Scaffidi gym and saw his retired number hanging in the Gallagher
Center. Hoffer asks what were they thinking of in allowing a
record to fall this way. Maybe Dan Raskin, Niagara's coach at
the time, thought that he'd let the kid die happy. Maybe he
wanted to let Scaffidi feel normal when everyone knew he would
TIM BUCKLAND, Star, N.C.
COLOR PHOTO: NICK PROCAYLO/AP [Tim Duncan in game]
The Spurs' Tim Duncan has "hit the wall" (Inside the NBA, March
9)? Sure. In 22 games through last Thursday (games 49 to 70 of
his rookie season), he averaged 24.3 points (as opposed to 18.2
for his first 48 games), 13.1 rebounds (11.5) and 2.8 blocked
shots (2.4). He was named the NBA Player of the Week for Feb.
23-March 1 and Rookie of the Month for the first four months of
this season. Duncan, who's having as good a season as any rookie
in a decade, was third in the league in rebounds and tied for
sixth in blocked shots. In fact, he's a strong contender for a
first-team All-NBA forward spot.
LEON HOWELL, Silver Spring, Md.