He has given people with HIV someone to admire. For that, Magic should be considered a great role model.
KEVIN DOLINGER, HENDERSONVILLE, N.C.
Magic Is Back
If there were a Pulitzer Prize for sports journalism, the 1996 award would have to be shared by Rick Reilly (Welcome Back, Feb. 12) and Gary Smith (True Lies) for their back-to-back articles on Magic Johnson's return to the NBA. I loved Reilly's description of that first night in the Forum; he conveyed the mood wonderfully, especially the fan reaction to Magic's first layup while he was warming up. And Smith hit it right on the head: Men like Magic Johnson and Louis Armstrong are "forces of nature."
JIM BECKER, Orlando
Only a player of Magic's caliber could handicap himself by acquiring HIV and retiring for four years before returning, at age 36, and go on to prove that he is still among the league's best. His comeback and his smile are both sights for sore eyes and reasons for teary ones. It will be interesting to see whether the Houston Rockets' two-year dominance of the Western Conference will continue if the Rockets match up against the revitalized Lakers and the most charismatic figure in sports today.
JACQUES DEDMON, Reno
Magic Johnson quit a few seasons ago after coaching the Lakers for 16 games in '94, claiming he could not coach or relate to Generation X. He can play with Generation X, but he can't coach them?
PETER FORBES, Jamaica, N.Y.
While Johnson's basketball ability is unquestioned and the public understanding of HIV he has fostered is commendable, there should be no confusion about his status. Magic is not a hero. Let's not forget, it was his consuming interest in self-gratification that brought Magic the virus.
EDWARD JAWORSKI, Brooklyn
Magic Johnson's statement that he is returning to basketball for the sake of his family is the ultimate hypocrisy. The memories of him that his family will treasure will be those quiet moments around the house, not the hours he spent traveling the country in pursuit of stardom.
DANIEL B. MENDLOVIC, Pittsburgh
Steve Rushin hit the nail on the head in his POINT AFTER about O.J. Simpson (Feb. 19). It was a sad time when we realized that O.J. would be allowed to make money off Nicole's murder. The thought of O.J. dedicating a song to Nicole and saying he loved her, then calling her a liar and associating her with drugs and prostitutes, sickens me. In my mind, those who buy his video are approving his conduct.
ROBBY KING, Atlanta
Your wasted page on O.J. Simpson just about made me throw up.
JAMES C. HAWKINS, Tucson
From POINT AFTER by Steve Rushin: "After all, Nicole was 'the love of my life,' he said on the radio, while dedicating the Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men duet One Sweet Day to her. He sniffled as it played and plugged the video six times."
From Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll: