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Original Issue



As I neared the end of the article about Kobe Bryant's amazing
scoring streak (Roll of a Lifetime, March 3), I was delighted to
read that here was a young superstar who had just one child--and
with his wife. Then I read Rick Reilly's column (THE LIFE OF
REILLY, March 3) praising his work ethic, lifestyle and
personality, and I got the idea that this young man is real. I'm
just an old guy looking for a current sports hero to join the
likes of Jackie Robinson, Roger Staubach and Jerry West in my
personal hall of fame. Kobe could well be the one.
Sam Douglas Columbia, S.C.

So Bryant averaged 42.4 points per game for 13 games? Wilt
Chamberlain averaged 42.6 over four consecutive seasons.
Eric Smith Los Gatos, Calif.

Reilly has forgotten how Kobe refused to play for any team but
the perennially successful Lakers. When Michael Jordan was
drafted by a team mired in a decadelong slump, he turned it into
a dynasty.
Matt Hofman, Waupun, Wis.

Having been a Lakers fan for more than 30 years, I can tell you
that Kobe will never be another MJ. And he will never be another
Magic Johnson or Larry Bird. But if he chooses to play until he
is 40, he will be one helluva Kobe Bryant! And that works fine
for me.
Ron Johnson, Sebring, Fla.

Thank you, Rick. For the past two years I've been telling my
Celtics-loving, Lakers-hating friends that Kobe is better than
Michael. However, I'm still building up the courage to tell them
he's better than Larry ever was.
Nolan H. Tanous, E. Millinocket, Maine

Of course Jordan didn't have Bryant's statistics by age 24. He
had spent three years winning in North Carolina. So if you want
to compare Jordan in his prime with a young Bryant, then don't
compare a three-year veteran with a seven-year one.
Jesse Ferguson Lincoln Park, Mich.

Fashion Police

Had the umpire done his homework, Tony Gwynn would never have
been ejected in his ninth game as coach at San Diego State
(SCORECARD, March 3). He was ejected, according to umpire Ken
Bayne, for being out of uniform. Apparently Bayne was not aware
that the uniform jacket for SDSU was changed this year to black
from last year's red.
Joan Adaskin, San Diego

Ratings Madness

Alexander Wolff's article (A Madness to the Method? March 3) is a
fine chronicle of the raging ratings debate. Why not put politics
and statistical head-banging aside, add two more rounds to the
tournament and let all 327 Division I teams play?
Jon Reischel, Mason, Ohio

I pray the RPI doesn't ruin college basketball the way the BCS
has disgraced college football. What is so inherently difficult
about finding a group of unbiased, intelligent people who can
determine the at-large tournament teams without computer
assistance? The RPI is simply a Really Pathetic Idea.
Owen Lockwood, Fairfield, Conn.

RPI is a small college in upstate New York. It should have stayed
that way.
Steven Chappell, North Syracuse, N.Y.

Fundamental Error

The Mets and future "superstar" Jose Reyes could be in for a ton
of trouble (The Gifted Ones, March 3). Bunting is a basic skill
that should have been mastered by any baseball player at the
level Reyes has already achieved. Unfortunately, the picture of
Reyes shows him failing miserably. His top hand is wrapped around
the front of the bat, a grip that will inevitably lead to broken
fingers from being hit by a major league fastball.
Andy Osinski, Lake Tahoe, Nev.

True Equality

Brian Kontak says he is going to attempt to qualify for an LPGA
tournament because he feels that Annika Sorenstam being allowed
to play in a PGA tournament represents a double standard
(Scorecard, March 3). He says, "If we're going to be equal, then
let's be equal." Great idea, Brian. How about starting by making
the PGA and LPGA purses equal?
Donna Beeson, Prescott Valley, Ariz.



Puck Prodigy

You missed hockey's "Next One" in your March 3 issue.
Fifteen-year-old Sidney Crosby of Shattuck--St. Mary's School in
Minnesota is the youngest player on his team, but he leads it in
scoring by almost 50 points. Playing with 16-and 17-year-olds in
Midget AAA in Nova Scotia as a 14year-old, he set numerous
records. In last year's Canadian national championships he
dominated the best 16-to 18-year-olds in the country, scoring 18
points in five games. In the recent Canada Winter Games he had
nine goals and seven assists in five games. He's already been
featured on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada and will be the first
overall pick in the Quebec Major Junior League draft this
year--and no doubt the same in two years when he is eligible for
the NHL draft.
Graham Townsend, Morrisville, N.C.

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