Jerry Lucas certainly has created an image in Cincinnati (Why I Am Turning Pro, May 21), but I don't think it's the image of a clean-cut all-American boy. This matter goes farther than mere contract offers. Jerry Lucas does not want to play basketball in the city of Cincinnati. Maybe it is the result of the rivalry between Ohio State and U. of Cincinnati; maybe it is because of his decision not to play at UC in the first place. Nobody knows but he.
Lucas said in his article that he wanted to live up to the image he has created. Does he think he can do it by playing in the American Basketball League? It would be right to say that a man was great if he played in the NBA against the likes of Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, or Bob Pettit, and held his own. But not against the nobodies that make up the ABL. Basketball fans deserve more from Jerry Lucas. His decision proves nothing, for the question still remains: Will Jerry Lucas turn pro?
CHARLES SPARGUR JR.
There are a lot of Jerry Lucas fans who are a little sadder today because of the realization that Jerry could be had for $60,000.
The Pipers gave Lucas $40,000 in investments and $20,000 in cash over a two-year period. The cash he will receive, other than the stocks, averages $10,000 a year. The Royals made an offer of $100,000 to Lucas. He could have accepted this and taken $40,000 of the $100,000 to invest in stocks himself. This would leave him with $60,000 spread over three years, averaging $20,000 a year. It doesn't take an A student in business (which Lucas is) to know that the Royals gave him the better offer.
? Lucas' tax accountants might not agree.—ED.
Jerry did what sports needs very badly today, he thought of something other than cash.
I have always admired Lucas, but wouldn't it have been much better for the "image" that Jerry talks about if he hadn't been insisting for the last five years that he would not turn pro? Oh well, principles are nice, but they'll never match money.
I pity the mothers who want their children to grow up with the "What's in it for me?" attitude of Jerry Lucas.
Jerry Lucas is not only a great basketball player but a great and gracious gentleman and, above all, a true sportsman.
Jerry Lucas is a crashing bore.