Dale Earnhardt Jr. seems to be a lot happier with his new racing team, Hendrick Motorsports. You can see from your story that Rick Hendrick really cares about his drivers. The fans who call Earnhardt a traitor for leaving DEI really make me mad. They are the traitors and were not really fans of his to begin with.
Angie Baldwin, New Castle, Ind.
As a Kyle Busch fan, I say, Let the SI cover jinx continue!
Todd Walsh, Byram, Conn.
NBA at the Half
Why would SI name Kevin Garnett as its MVP (NBA Midseason Report, Feb. 18)? He is one of the top three players in the league, but when he missed games with an abdominal strain, the Celtics showed they could win without him. Players like Chris Paul, Carlos Boozer and Dwight Howard are all more instrumental to their teams' success.
Scott Etkin, New York City
Ian Thomsen predicts that Dallas's Dirk Nowitzki will become the first European to lead his team to an NBA championship. What about Tony Parker of France, who has three NBA titles with San Antonio and last year was MVP of the Finals?
John Medina, New York City
Jack McCallum's article about Chris Paul and David West leading the Hornets' resurgence (Wild West Shootout, Feb. 18) was a great tribute to the late Skip Prosser, who coached both players in college: West at Xavier and Paul at Wake Forest. Skip would be proud.
Jason Mazda, Avalon, N.J.
In your midseason report Deron Williams got no love, even though Williams dominated Paul in their first two meetings this year. Williams had a combined 41 points and 18 assists, compared with Paul's 21 points and 12 assists, while the Jazz outscored the Hornets 209--159.
Colin Soisson, Cottonwood Heights, Utah
Dan Patrick's "gut feeling" (Just My Type, Feb. 18) is that if Bob Knight returns from retirement, it will be to a school "where RPI doesn't matter." I say, how about RPI itself—Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute?
Elliott Denman, West Long Branch, N.J.
Michael Farber's story about Joé Juneau's efforts to bring hockey into a part of Canada plagued by drugs and teen suicide (A Northern Light, Feb. 18) was inspirational. Juneau can live three lifetimes off his NHL earnings, but he has moved far from his true home and dedicated himself to helping those less fortunate. Ex-players in every sport should take note.
Pete Wiesner, Hamilton, Ont.
Many think that Americans (and Canadians) have an unhealthy obsession with sports. Stories like Juneau's show how sports can tie a community together, teach kids life lessons and brighten the lives of countless individuals.
Joe D. Genco, Buffalo
Juneau has no competition as SI's next Sportsman of the Year.
Randy Emery, Dallas
After Joé Juneau enumerates the many societal gaps that exist in the remote Inuit village of Nunavik, Farber writes, "This is indeed a chasm, like the one that sometimes exists between being merely an elite athlete and being a complete human being." Lines like that are what make SI writing the best in class.
Bill Farquharson, Duxbury, Mass.
License to Drive
Thanks to Grant Wahl for the great story about the growing popularity of the dribble-drive offense (Fast and Furious, Feb. 18) at all levels of basketball and about its mad-genius creator, Vance Walberg. I had the privilege of playing for Coach Walberg in 2000 at Clovis West High. As a post player I found his offense and his defensive full-court press both fun and exhausting—and I have never been in better shape in my life.
Ryan Lucchesi, Fresno
As a fan of the college game who never played basketball at an advanced level, the diagrams and descriptions of the dribble-drive offense helped me better appreciate the movement that I see away from the ball. This article will make me a better spectator.
Bill Brissman, San Mateo, Calif.
The dribble-drive motion offense is the same as the spread offense but within the confines of a shot clock. In the early '70s Dean Smith perfected his spread, the Four Corners, with Phil Ford at the point. The only change today is the emphasis on kicking the ball out for the three.
North Canton, Ohio
The Beijing Games
While I believe China should do everything in its power to enhance human rights (Point After, Feb. 18), people who use the Olympics to put pressure on China do not understand the meaning of the Games. The Olympics are meant to promote unity among athletes from all over the world. The Games are about friendly competition, not political stress.
Grace Deacon, Levittown, Pa.
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