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Someone needs to tell Rasheed Wallace that there is no trophy for
most technical fouls.
--NATE SMITH, Aurora, Colo.

Musings about Mario

Michael Farber bought into the Pittsburgh Penguins'
linen-and-fine-china image (League of His Own, March 12). The
complaints of Mario Lemieux about the clutch-and-grab goon style
practiced by the rest of the NHL are laughable. With past and
present teammates such as Gary Rissling, Kevin Stevens, Ulf
Samuelsson, Kjell Samuelsson, Rick Tocchet, Darius Kasparaitis,
Bob Boughner, Billy Tibbetts and Krzysztof Oliwa, Lemieux is an
example of an individual who lives in a glass house throwing

Years ago my grandmother, a huge hockey fan, said Lemieux was "a
big baby" and couldn't hold a candle to Wayne Gretzky. As a good
grandson, I too adopted this attitude about Lemieux and was a
huge Gretzky fan. Now I feel as if I've missed out! After
watching Lemieux play this year, I wish that I had watched every
Mario moment from his earlier career.
RYAN FRENCH, Hamilton, Ont.

I have three letters for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman: MHL.
Mario's Hockey League.
MIKE TAYLOR, The Woodlands, Texas

Blazing Egos

Today I got my March 12 issue and noticed an article on the
Portland Trail Blazers and their attitude (Internal Combustion).
Two hours later I'm watching their game against the San Antonio
Spurs, and Rasheed Wallace and Bonzi Wells get ejected. That team
may be loaded with talent, but it's also loaded with egos!
ALBERT WHITLOCK, Severna Park, Md.

There are a lot of people who would be happy just to be in the
NBA. If Blazer players love basketball, they should work hard and
keep their mouths shut about playing time.

Life's Tough Lessons

The tragedy that befell Bryan Berard was lamentable (Blood on the
Ice, March 12). The fact that he could forgive Marian Hossa shows
great depth of character.
DAVID MALCOLM, Hamilton, Ont.

Until the NHL and its players' union make face masks mandatory,
it is only a matter of time until another young, gifted player
suffers the same misfortune.

I hope Berard can take comfort in the fact that after reading
about his accident, I put my shield back on my helmet.
JIM STEIN, Pacific Palisades, Calif.

We've found a sports star in Berard who's worthy of the title
role model. For those who think there's nothing to learn from a
24-year-old, this story is required reading. Hossa's remorse and
heartfelt concern for Berard is also cause for notice.
GREG VINSON, Singapore

Praise for Pete

Coach Pete Gaudet was my English teacher at Dartmouth (Mass.)
High (INSIDE COLLEGE BASKETBALL, March 12). He created an
intellectually stimulating and challenging academic environment.
At Dartmouth High, West Point, Duke, Pearl-Cohn (Tenn.) High and
Vanderbilt, students and athletes who've been exposed to Gaudet's
brand of teaching are better individuals as a result.
MIKE REARDON, Darien, Conn.

Shaq Attack

In Rick Reilly's column "Victim of His Own Foul Play," he
portrays Shaquille O'Neal's only weakness as being at the free
throw line (THE LIFE OF REILLY, March 12). In truth, if you watch
Shaq, he displays little ability to shoot the ball. Shaq only has
the slam dunk and the baby hook. If I were to play a game of
horse with Shaq, I bet I'd beat him, though I've never played at
a higher level than high school.
JOHN P. MCCLAIN, Fontana, Calif.

The Walton Gang

I haven't always been the biggest fan of Walton, the player and
broadcaster. I am, however, a big fan of his parenting approach
and his four ongoing success stories. I bet Walton would agree
that his success as a parent is much more fulfilling than winning
any championship.
J. TAYLOR, Denton, Texas

Your article on Bill Walton and his basketball-playing sons was
refreshing (My Three Sons, March 12). One thing that jumped out
at me: the need for a yearly article on John Wooden. I don't
think we could ever get enough of him.
MARC LEVINE, New York City


Not a Trick Shot

Shaq, it's time to start shooting foul shots underhanded the way
Rick Barry (above) did. He made 90.9% of his free throws over a
10-year NBA career. No shame in it, just do it!