Never have I been as moved by a story as I was by Thomas Lake's superb article on Pop Herring. The piece was touching and sad, and it allowed me to understand why Herring was right in his decision to place Michael Jordan on the jayvee team. I wish nothing but the best for Herring and hope that he can put his troubles behind him.
Robert Scholz, Elmo, Mo.
Your piece on Herring (Did This Man Really Cut Michael Jordan? Jan. 16) was one of the most poignant that I have read in any magazine. If nothing else, I hope it helps Jordan understand that he didn't become one of the greatest players of all time despite the actions of others, but because of them.
John Taylor, Superior, Colo.
I can't help but feel that the remarks Jordan has made regarding his old coach have contributed to Herring's woes. I don't understand how someone in Jordan's position could not show more compassion, even if he felt Herring had made a mistake.
Marshall Jackson, Lakeland, Fla.
Ties of Loyalty
Thank you for acknowledging the resurgence of Indiana basketball ("We're Back, Baby!" Jan. 16) and all the hurdles that coach Tom Crean had to overcome to rebuild the program. Still, I feel that there was one point missing: the loyalty of Hoosiers fans. While it's true that student-season-ticket orders fell over the past four years, Indiana still ranked as high as 11th in attendance from 2008--09 to '10--11, at a time when the team was enduring one of the worst losing stretches in the school's history. As SI.com's Seth Davis recently wrote, "I've never seen a fan base stand by its team through lean times like the Indiana fans did for their Hoosiers."
Todd Joseph, Denver
Over the Hump
After reading about the Kris Humphries backlash (SCORECARD, Jan. 16), I'd like to ask the author of the essay, Jack McCallum, if he ever considered that the reason people boo the Nets' forward is not just because of his association with the Kardashians but also because they got to see what he is really about after watching him on TV. From the moment he opened his mouth, my skin crawled. He acts like a 17-year-old boy in the body of a man.
Jessica Loos, Las Vegas
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ELENA DELLE DONNE
If you were building a soccer team and could choose any alltime player to anchor your team, would Lionel Messi be your first pick?
Mohammed Elfaouj: Definitely. At only 24 years old Messi is already a legend, the best player in the world, and he still has more than half of his career in front of him.
Yassir Ayoubi: Messi scored 53 goals and had 24 assists during the 2010--11 season for Barcelona. Of course he should be the top alltime pick for any team.
Fàbio Menegat: Pelé will always be the best, and I would always pick him first. He has three World Cup championships and a record 1,281 career goals.
Paul Samaniego: Those who pick Messi and not Pelé may not remember that Pelé was just 17 years old, playing against men in his first World Cup in 1958. He proved his worth.
Martin Luffe Dahlgaard: Even as a die-hard Bar√ßa fan, I would pick Diego Maradona first. When Messi finally leads Argentina to a World Cup championship, maybe he can be considered one of the best.
Luis Cely: Messi is a great striker, but he's not even the most valuable player for Barcelona. I would choose Xavi first because he is the puppeteer behind Bar√ßa's game.
RICHARD MACKSON (COVER)
FOR January 16, 2012
MANU FERNANDEZ/AP (MESSI)