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Original Issue


Stop the Bus

As an avidPittsburgh fan, I was thrilled to see the Jan. 30 cover, which featured theSteelers for a third straight week--even if part of the nation instead got theSeattle Seahawks. It has, however, also caused me great concern. Please cancelmy subscription if running back Jerome Bettis is on the cover of the SwimsuitIssue.

Larry Lasday,North Potomac, Md.

Big Night

Your coverage ofKobe Bryant's historic performance was excellent (81, Jan. 30), and thecomparison with Wilt Chamberlain's as yet unapproached mark of 100 points in agame is certainly valid. Still, there's no need to detract from a big man'saccomplishments simply because he has greater physical stature. Some may arguethat Kobe's 81 is greater than Wilt's 100 because Kobe, at 6'7", is sixinches shorter than the 7'1" Wilt, but what scale should we then use whendetermining the magnitude of a player's accomplishments? If size--or the lackthereof--is the indicator, why don't we consider the (barely) 6-foot AllenIverson's 50-point nights to be among the greatest scoring performances of alltime? Why not say the same thing every time 5'5" Earl Boykins drops in 20?The bottom line is that points are points and Wilt is still 19 up on the nextguy.

Jay Balsam, ValleyStream, N.Y.

Jack McCallumposes the question, After scoring 81, can Kobe hit 100? The more appropriatequestion might be, Can Kobe pass the ball? The answer to both questions is,Probably not.

Rick McCall,Austin

Let's not forgetthat Kobe had 21 points from three-point shots, seven more than he would havehad playing by the rules Wilt followed.

Kathy Robinson,Krum, Texas

While takingnothing away from Bryant's feat, what makes Wilt's 100-point accomplishmentunique is that it has never been equaled in one game by two NBA players on thesame team.

L.A. Ellis,Shoreview, Minn.

Pond Scrum

Steve Rushin's OnGolden Ponds (AIR AND SPACE, Jan. 30) really captured the spirit of the PondHockey Championships. Our club didn't make it to the final 16, but none of uslost any teeth and a good time was had by all. Your LEADING OFF aerialphoto shows our team, on the bottom rink warming up for Game 2. We can tell ourkids someday that we were in SI--even though we'll need a magnifying glass toprove it.

Jeff Dewing,Excelsior, Minn.

Real Backbone

As someone who hasspondylolisthesis, I was very interested in reading about Steve Nash of thePhoenix Suns, who also lives with this spinal condition (Point Guard fromAnother Planet, Jan. 30). This disease, which caused me to need a very invasiveoperation two years ago, is seldom mentioned in the media. I love that Nash haskept such a positive attitude toward his physical health, and maintains hisdrive and leadership. I feel that if Nash can be MVP with spondy, then I can goback to the martial arts I put on hold, and maybe even attain my blackbelt.

StaceyMellus-Whiting, Sunnyside, N.Y.

Below the Belt

Cigar was a dud atstud because he was infertile (SCORECARD, Jan. 30), but your making him agelding is the unkindest cut of all.

Ed Golden,Northridge, Calif.

A Good Man

Your item inSCORECARD (Jan. 30) mentioned that Luis Gonzalez helped rescue a driver trappedin a truck, but what you may not know is that shortly afterward Gonzalez wentto Phoenix Children's Hospital to visit Nick Daniels, my 13-year-old neighbor,who was battling through his last days with leukemia. Gonzo was Nick's favoriteplayer, and as soon as he heard of Nick's condition, Luis reached out to thefamily to schedule a visit. Even though Nick was sleeping, Luis went to thehospital at 10:30 p.m. on a Friday to spend time at Nick's side, holding hishand. After about 30 to 45 minutes he left and told the parents to call him assoon as Nick woke up, regardless of what time it was, so he could come back totalk with him. Fifteen minutes after he left, Nick awoke. Luis immediatelyreturned and spent another hour with Nick talking baseball and making plans toget together once Nick was healthy again. Sadly, Nick passed away the followingTuesday, but Luis again took time from being with his own family to attendNick's services. Luis Gonzalez is a role model off the field, and it's nowonder he is admired by so many.

Bill Sallurday,Chandler, Ariz.

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