How many championships would the Lakers, Celtics, Pistons or 76ers have won had they not had to face each other on the way to the title?
BRETT M. JACKSON, MONTCLAIR, N.J.
Emotions such as disappointment, disgust and letdown used to be associated with Chicago teams (To the Top, June 23), but that all changed when number 23 banged in the Shot against: Cleveland in the 1989 playoffs. Since then, Chicago fans have been treated to the greatest contemporary dynasty in sports. Five years from now, when the Bulls are in the lottery, I'll still have my videotapes and memories of the glory days. You can have the Celtics of the '50s and the '60s. Give me da Bulls of the '90s.
BILL RENJE, Tampa
No one can deny that Chicago deserves to be called one of the NBA's greatest dynasties, and its run may not be finished. However, I disagree with Phil Taylor's assessment that the Bulls rank higher than the Lakers teams of the 1980s. Chicago and L.A. each won five titles, but the Lakers earned theirs against far tougher Finals competition—the Celtics, the Pistons and the Sixers, teams that won a combined six NBA crowns from 1981 to '90.
If the Bulls win a sixth championship I'll concede, but as things stand now, I'll stick with the Lakers.
MIKE TREMAGLIO, Southington, Conn.
Phil Taylor's article compares the Bulls' dynasty with dynasties of the NBA past, but it omits one of the great teams of yesteryear. The Minneapolis Lakers were the league's first dynasty; they won five NBA titles in six years, from 1949 to '54. They had a dominating center in Hall of Famer George Mikan; two Hall of Fame forwards, Jim Pollard and Vern Mikkelsen; a Hall of Fame point guard in Slater Martin; and a Hall of Fame coach, John Kundla.
Those Lakers were the prototype for the modern lineup in their creation of the power forward, the small forward and the point guard positions. They give the Bulls one more team to pass in their ascent of the league's historical hierarchy.
JOSEPH OBERLE, Fridley, Minn.
Merrell Noden eloquently argues that baseball would be more exciting if parks moved the fences back (POINT AFTER, June 23). I'd love to see them rolled back 20 feet all around. Nothing gets fans involved more than a possible triple and a bang-bang play at third.
MICHAEL G. METZGER, Coronado, Calif.
Noden claims smaller ballparks eliminate great plays, yet every week I watch highlights of Kenny Lofton and Ken Griffey Jr. climbing walls, stealing home runs and making diving catches in the gap. Also in a time when the average fan cannot afford box seats, the now closer bleachers bring the game closer to the fans.
QUENTIN DEAN JR., Portland, Maine
In your SCORECARD item about Judaism's greatest sports figures (June 23), I was surprised to see that basketball guard Doron Sheffer was voted in second place, behind Sandy Koufax, with no mention of Ernie Grunfeld in the top five. Grunfeld's 22.3-points-per-game average, when he played for the Bernie ( Bernard King) and Ernie Show teams in the '70s, remains a Tennessee four-season record. He then spent nine seasons in the NBA as a productive performer for the Kansas City Kings, the Milwaukee Bucks and the New York Knicks. Since moving to the New York front office in 1990, Grunfeld has demonstrated so much management prowess that he is now the president and general manager of the NBA's most important franchise.
EDWARD KOENIG, Haddonfield, N.J.
Here's my list of Jewish sports figures whom I consider greater, except for Sandy Koufax, than those on the top five list cited: