I hope LeBron James (Ahead of His Class, Feb. 18) and every other high school phenom turned to page 80 and read the story about JaRon Rush (Reversal of Fortunes). Talent alone is not enough, which is why the greatest basketball player ever, Michael Jordan, has also been one of the hardest-working players ever. Let's hope LeBron et al. understand the importance of this. Oh, and if you can shoot from 15 feet and out, it doesn't hurt either.
NEIL FEINER, New York City
I can't wait for your preschool lottery predictions. It's in the works, I'm sure.
MATTHEW J. RUTHERFORD, Clifton, Va.
When the next Jordan arrives, we will know. The unique combination of talent and heart will be easily recognized and will not be the product of media hype or wishful longing.
BILL SMITH, Midlothian, Va.
In the discussion of high schoolers who were ready for the NBA, I think you made one significant omission. The subject of a March 1955 article in Sport magazine tided The High-School Kid Who Could Play Pro Now, his name was Wilt Chamberlain.
JOHN DUXBURY, St. Louis
Pudge Rodriguez (Anchors Aweigh, Feb. 18) tries to use loyalty as a bargaining chip for his next contract, as if he's a throwback to the good old days. Yet he exemplifies today's typical self-absorbed professional athlete. A larger-than-life bronze sculpture of himself in the backyard? Perhaps his knee didn't wear out from the grind of catching all those games. Maybe it just couldn't handle all the extra weight of Rodriguez being full of himself.
BILL GWINN, Tigard, Ore.
Mark Cuban may have a point about the quality of officiating in the NBA (Poll Sitters, Feb. 18). However, until he begins screaming as loudly at bad calls that favor his Mavericks as he does at those that go against them, it is hard to view him as anything other than a big wallet with a bigger mouth.
EUGENE WHITEHOUSE, Marquette, Mich.
You Make Me Sick
In Afghanistan a mother will sell a child for $30 so the rest of the family can stave off starvation for another month. In New Orleans retired Ravens tackle Tony Siragusa (SCORECARD, Feb. 18) is telling the restaurant waiter to "Keep it coming until I puke. Then hit me again." And George W. Bush says they hate us because of our "freedom."
JOHN WHITMAN, Peaks Island, Maine
Driving While Irresponsible
Why do we continue to try to immortalize reckless athletes? Mike Darr (INSIDE BASEBALL, Feb. 25) was described as "devil-may-care" and as personifying "the spirit of a youthful, scrappy outfit." How about referring to him as irresponsible? Darr's death may have been a tragedy, but it was needless and avoidable. Let's recall the contributing factors: alcohol, 2 a.m. and no seat belts. The real victims of his behavior are the wife and two small sons he selfishly left behind. Mike Darr's tombstone should read, HE WAS STUPID, BRO.
JOHN CLARK, West Chester, Pa.
I'm thrilled that Janet Maslin (SCORECARD, Feb. 25) enjoyed NBC's presentation of the Salt Lake City Olympics as "an exciting true story as it unfolds in real time." If only the 35 million people in California—and millions of others in the Pacific time zone—could have enjoyed the same privilege. Tape-delayed coverage from Australia was barely explainable, but from Salt Lake City it was inexcusable.
SANDY BOYER, Laguna Beach, Calif.
I've been holding my breath for the past two weeks in the hope that NBC's Olympic experiment of letting the competition be the drama would work. Even an occasional fan such as Janet Maslin sees what those of us who love sports have always known—that sappy stories, heightened drama and Bob Costas's arty prose pale in comparison with the Games themselves. And with luck, maybe, someday the Super Bowl game will become more important than the Super Bowl commercials. A guy can dream, can't he?
DAVID GREENHAM, Readfield, Maine