Hockey is a great sport, but it mil be second-rate as long as it permits fighting, goons, enforcers, etc.
—Gary Fraser Las Vegas
I thought Seattle's Gary Payton should have been listed in The Five Best Moves in the NBA (March 16). Some players have spin moves, but Payton has the killer "black widow" spin. When heading downcourt, he weaves his way around players, leaving them tangled up like flies trapped in a spiderweb, and then heads for the kill...uh, two points.
Mychal Tu Nguyen, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
How can you say that the Lakers' Shaquille O'Neal has one of the five best moves in the NBA? The move that you describe as being so great requires only that O'Neal push his opponent into the stands with his back, turn around and slam the ball into the hoop.
Michael Limbacher, Pittsburgh
Not to include Larry Bird's two-handed, overhand ball fake and step-back jumper is an affront to the best forward to play the game (The Past, March 16).
Irwin Sirotta, Alpharotta, Ga.
James Worthy left many a defender wondering where he went as he spun quickly from the low post toward the baseline and around the defender for a one-handed jam.
Gilbert R. Cisneros Jr., Torrance, Calif.
There are goons in the NHL, and the Blues' Brett Hull and Geoff Courtnall should be happy to have an enforcer like Tony Twist looking out for their interests (Fighting for a Living, March 16). This hockey fan cheers SI for profiling a stand-up guy doing a knockdown job.
Jack Giancarlo, Lancaster, N.Y.
When Twist was playing with the Peoria Rivermen, my brother Scott was serving in Desert Storm. Twist found out about Scott, got his address and wrote him several times. He even sent a Merry Christmas banner autographed by all the Rivermen. My family has never been able to repay this act of kindness from a stranger.
Tom Gamboe Jr., Fairview Heights, Ill.
I am offended by SI's celebration of mindless violence in the article about Tony Twist, who says, "I want to hurt them." How irresponsible of you to promote the absurdity that violence is O.K. if it occurs in a sporting context.
David Altheide, Tempe, Ariz
I'm confused. In "This Week's Sign That the Apocalypse Is Upon Us" (SCORECARD, March 16), I sensed SI's concern that violence has become a part of ice hockey, down to the high school level. Then I read the story about Tony Twist and the hammers "he throws to kill."
Glenn Wiebe, Hillsboro, Kans.
Busting the Zone
Your article on basketball's zone defense was great (Danger Zone, March 16). The zone slows the game and takes a lot of the poetry out of it. As a coach of a top team of 13-year-old boys, I hate the zone because it's so darn effective. Although Temple coach John Chaney's 50 zone variations show that I'm not remotely as sophisticated as the college coaches you cite, I still would add a fifth approach to your four-way formula for busting the zone: I tell my speedy boys to get down the court so fast that the other team doesn't have a chance to set the darn thing up.
John McMahon, Bronxville, N.Y.