Since when does a second-best team get top billing before the start of a new season (Growing to Greatness, Oct. 29)? If William Leggett is just predicting, let him say so, but to call the Los Angeles Lakers "the best in the whole NBA," is only wishful thinking.
Judging from the Lakers' miserable start this season (1 win, 4 losses), Coach Fred Schaus better seriously consider keeping all 12 players instead of that versatile 10 Leggett writes about. The Celtics can still run the pants off any team in the whole NBA.
Please tell dear, sweet, misinformed William Leggett the Boston Celtics will win seven of the nine season games scheduled against Los Angeles and, if they should meet in the playoffs—and there's an excellent chance the Lakers won't make it to the finals—the Celts will win in five. Boston is so strengthened by the rookie ( John Havlicek) and the "fat man" ( Clyde Lovellette) from St. Louis that they are undeniably the finest basketball team around and, I submit, the finest professional team engaged in any sport today. Why don't you keep this letter around so William Leggett can read it again in April? Shame, shame, shame.
New York City
The statement that the Syracuse Nationals are one of the weakest, dullest teams in the NBA is the most false I have ever read. I would like to ask if Mr. Leggett knows which team has not placed lower than third since 1951? For what team does the alltime scoring leader of the NBA, Dolph Schayes, play? Which is the fastest team in the NBA? Not Boston, not Los Angeles, not San Francisco or St. Louis, but Syracuse.
DAVID F. HOYT
The Nationals are the fastest team in the NBA and the most enjoyable to watch. With speedsters like Hal Greer and Larry Costello, the Nats play basketball the way it was meant to be played—using the fast break and the give and go. This is what basketball really is; it is not the towering center pushing the ball through the cords.
New Brunswick, N.J.
Your view of the St. Louis Hawks made me sick. The Hawks have molded a team of veterans, tradees (Phil Jordan) and rookies into a fresh new team. This team, in my opinion, is the best that the Hawks have had since the 1957-58 championship team. The league standings agree with me (5 wins, 1 loss). In fact, just the other night the Hawks held the Boston Celtics under 100 points and beat them. The ABL can stay as long as it wants to. The Hawks don't need their players. They have enough good players now. The only "trouble" here in River City is the trouble the other NBA teams are going to have against the Hawks.
ROCK ISLAND LINE
Whoever put together your pro basketball report overlooked one player on the Chicago Zephyrs lineup—and what a player!
I'm referring of course, to Iowa's great center, Don Nelson, of neighboring Rock Island, Ill. In his three years of varsity basketball, playing with three undistinguished teams and little support against an array of greats that included Lucas, Havlicek, Dischinger, Bellamy and others, he rewrote the Iowa record books.
Here are some of the records he shattered while running up a three-year total of more than 1,500 points:
Most points, single season
Most rebounds, three-year career
Most rebounds, single season
Best field-goal accuracy, one season
Most free throws, one season
Most free throws, one game