I enjoyed the article Jack McCallum wrote on NBA commissioner David Stern. When he took over in 1984, the NBA was on the verge of bankruptcy and was losing fans. Games are now aired in more than 200 countries, and league revenue has gone from $165 million to $5.5 billion. He seemed to make decisions in the best interest of the game, and he never let the demands of others supersede his self-respect.
Russ W. Bill, Fountain Valley, Calif.
A Tale of Two Cities
You didn't mention Stern's greatest accomplishment (I Did It My Way). As a Timberwolves season-ticket holder since the team was founded in 1989, I was devastated and angry when the owners announced five years later that they were selling the team to New Orleans--based owners. Stern stepped in and put the kibosh on the deal, and the Wolves were later sold to local businessman Glen Taylor. Thank you, David, for keeping the NBA in Minnesota.
Ron Schuerkamp, Chaska, Minn.
Stern had obvious accomplishments during the glory years of the 1980s and early '90s and internationally, but no one could be more ecstatic about his retirement than the passionate sports fans of Seattle. After allowing Oklahoma City to steal our Sonics, he then helped block the sale of the Kings to Seattle buyers, despite the fact that Seattle's offer was superior on every level.
Bradley Mathisen, Poulsbo, Wash.
That Really Big Show
Thank you, Steve Rushin, for your thoughtful commentary on the Super Bowl (A Superfluousness of Superness). I have long felt that the NFL has gone over the top in its expression of self-importance, and the Super Bowl is the most dramatic expression of that development. When as estimable a figure as Peyton Manning laments the current state of hype, the league—and the networks, which buy into and promote the hype—should pay attention.
Richard van Antwerp Yarmouth, Maine
I agree with Rushin: Let football be the centerpiece of the Super Bowl. I stopped watching this year's game before the first half was over, and only partly because my Broncos were embarrassing themselves. The repetitive commentary, trying-way-too-hard commercials and endless hype made the broadcast a painful experience that, sadly, was not redeemed by a compelling game.
Mark Fuller, Carbondale, Colo.
To Coin a Phrase ...
When Joe Namath flipped the coin too soon (SCORECARD) before the Super Bowl began, why, oh why, didn't he remind the referees that he always had the quickest release in the game? It would have been a one-liner Casey Stengel would have been proud of.
Lance McCord Holly Springs, N.C.
As a Broncos fan I was hoping to see Peyton Manning on your post--Super Bowl cover. My wish came true—but certainly not in the manner in which I had hoped. I really need to be more specific with my wishes.
Barry Norenberg Baltimore
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Did you like the new format for the NBA's All-Star dunk contest?
RALPH SIMMONS The dunk contest needs to be done away with. The three-point contest is the best and most dramatic experience of the night.
STEVE HOKANSON Format, F--; John Wall's dunk, A+.
ADAM HATCH Worst, most boring dunk contest ever. Even Nick Cannon sounded bored.
ANTHONY HAMPTON Still not as good as Jordan.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Congrats to T.J. Oshie and the U.S. men's hockey team on a huge win! Never stop believing in miracles. #GoTeamUSA —bo
Straight from POTUS himself, as indicated by the signature.
WALTER IOOSS JR. FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (COVER)
FOR FEB. 10, 2014
NOAH GRAHAM/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (WALL)