SI Vault
May 25, 1998
Bryant isn't the next Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson; he's the first Kobe Bryant.—Ashley Neameyer, Rolla, N. Dak.
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May 25, 1998


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Bryant isn't the next Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson; he's the first Kobe Bryant.
—Ashley Neameyer, Rolla, N. Dak.

The Name Game
Rick Reilly's musing on famous names (THE LIFE OF REILLY, April 27) struck close to home. I had to change my phone listing because I got tired of late-night calls asking, "Do you know Diddley?" I have seen more than a few disappointed looks upon being introduced to a new group. On the plus side, I signed an autograph for a young Royals fan in Anaheim Stadium, and a couple of years ago I had a wardrobe of T-shirts with my name on them.
Bo Jackson, Kingwood, Texas

Having been given the name of my father's sports hero, I thoroughly enjoyed Reilly's take on ordinary joes with famous names. While I have failed to live up to Dad's hopes in the hitting department, I do consider my name a unique gift from him. And when I walk down the street, I want people to say, "There goes the greatest accountant who ever lived."
Ted Williams, New Albany, Ind.

Reilly's column brought back memories of my oldest brother Danny's first Golden Gloves boxing match, in 1970. I can still hear the chuckles turning to laughs as the ring announcer introduced him: "...and his opponent in the red corner, fighting for Ed Sullivan... Danny Thomas. The referee for this bout will be Joey Bishop."
Rick Thomas, Poland, Ohio

Having played football for Duffy Daugherty's Michigan State teams in the early 1970s, I got my share of razzing, double takes and prank phone calls. But the recent inquiry from a high-school-age sales clerk made me do a double take. She wanted to know if I was related to James Bond!
James Bond, Fond du Lac, Wis.

I never liked Lawrence Phillips's shenanigans when he was at Nebraska and with the St. Louis Rams, but when the Miami Dolphins signed him last year, it hit home, literally. Now I have to deal with checkout clerks and bank tellers giving me odd looks. I usually tell them that I was born first—therefore he was named after me.
Lawrence Scott Philips, Pembroke Pines, Fla.

Face-off Strategy
When I saw the headline Face Off! (April 27), I expected the article to be a colossal bore, but by the time I had finished it, I was spellbound. Michael Farber has shown that the draw is as important to hockey as free throws are to basketball.
Paul Howley, Wellesley, Mass.

Kobe Bryant
Anyone who displays the determination, energy and enthusiasm of Kobe Bryant of the Lakers deserves all the recognition he gets (Showtime! April 27). In a few years Bryant will be compared with Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson in the NBA's most important measurement, championship rings.
Brian Brenton Chua, Coquitlam, B.C.

The best way to help Bryant become a second Jordan instead of a one-shot wonder is to leave him alone. He has a maturity few teenagers possess. He needs only time and space in which to flourish.
I-Han Chen
Parsippany, N.J.

Is the world so desperate for another Jordan that we're ready to find him in someone who isn't even the best sixth man? Sure, Bryant has a lot of potential, but let's stop looking for the next Jordan and recognize Jordan's true greatness—there will never be another.
Paul Walker, Belmont, Calif.

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