The Heat cut to the front of the line to get to the NBA Finals by brazenly throwing money around and creating an instant All-Star team last summer. Meanwhile, the Mavericks quietly gutted it out in the playoffs for 10 straight seasons, with several excruciating and humbling exits along the way. It's no wonder so many hoops fans were rooting for a Dallas win.
Steve Horwood, Tempe, Ariz.
While I enjoyed Lee Jenkins's article on the Mavericks' championship (Lone Star Power, June 20), I find his assertion that by finally winning a title, Dirk Nowitzki has had "13 failed seasons washed off his 7-foot frame" to be pure nonsense. Dirk was the league MVP in 2007 and is a 10-time NBA All-Star who has averaged 23.0 points and 8.4 rebounds for his career. It is outrageous to even allude to him as a failure.
Robert Mayer, Fairfield, Conn.
Nowitzki referred to Jason Kidd as a warrior, but I think that's an apt description of the entire Mavericks team. They fought like warriors throughout their series against Miami, never giving up. They didn't brag about how many championships they would win, and they didn't mock the Heat. They simply let their play do the talking.
Carol A. Caudill, Salt Lick, Ky.
The Brews Cruise
As a longtime fan of the Brewers, I was happy to see someone finally take notice of their recent success (INSIDE BASEBALL, June 20). Whether you're a fan of the Brew Crew or not, Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder are having years that are hard to ignore. If they can keep it up, I believe they'll be the best hitting duo the game has seen in quite a while, and Milwaukee will make a deep run in the postseason.
Ben Zehrt, Solon, Iowa
The Lying Game
When I started reading Selena Roberts's article on Kathryn Massar (She Had a Secret, June 20), I expected to learn more about a girl whom I could be proud to tell my nine-year-old daughter about. Instead what I got was the pathetic tale of a 75-year-old woman who has spent the better part of her life living a lie and who now seems intent on capitalizing on that lie with book and movie deals. Nothing to be proud of at all.
Kevin Snow, Buffalo
The Massar case is very simple. She was too old to play in the league and was in clear violation of the rules. Her team should have forfeited every game in which she played, and she should be removed from the Hall of Fame. Her presence in Cooperstown is an insult to everyone who followed the rules.
In reading your article on Jimmer Fredette (The Jimmer Dilemma, June 20) and the way in which NBA general managers and scouts inexplicably question Fredette's athleticism and foot speed, I couldn't help but wonder if this type of critique would even be a point of conversation if Fredette were black. Unfortunately, people often assume that white athletes lack athletic ability and only make up for it with smarts and grit while black athletes are naturally agile and robust, but are void of intelligence. It's this same stupidity that has long kept black men out of coaching and the front office.
John McMillen, Marietta, Ga.
Pride of the Yankees
I loved Tom Verducci's article on Derek Jeter (Three Grand, June 20) because it gave insight into Jeter's struggles over the last few years and how he continued to play hard despite some challenges, including second-guessing by the Yankees' brass. I admire the fact that even when he's playing hurt, Jeter lives by Joe DiMaggio's motto: "There is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first or last time. I owe him my best."
Mark Iozzi, Brick, N.J.
As a die-hard Red Sox fan, I loathe all things pinstripe. However, I can't help but respect a competitor like Jeter. In an age in which so many athletes suffer from narcissism and see themselves as larger than life, Jeter represents all that is right about baseball and remains one of the few true class acts in sports. It will be a pleasure to see him reach the 3,000-hit milestone.
Max Morrill, Charlotte
Phil Taylor's tips for athletes (POINT AFTER, June 20) should be required summer reading for all NCAA competitors. As a Buckeyes fan I think Taylor's advice is definitely something Terrelle Pryor and his Ohio State teammates could have used a few years ago, when they began their college careers.
If there was ever an article in SI that actually made me laugh out loud, it was this one. Not only did Taylor give sound advice, but he also did so in a way that was both funny and intelligent.
Thomas McNair Murphy
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