HOOPS AND CORKS
Your report on the NBA playoffs (Call Them Champs Again, June 14) is unfair to the Celtics and Coach Tom Heinsohn. The Celtics proved once again they are the best team in basketball by winning their 13th championship in 20 years. Not only did their starters come through in the clutch, but also their much-maligned bench.
You say that Heinsohn is always looking over his shoulder at Red Auerbach. That is ridiculous. Tommy Heinsohn is his own man and probably the best coach in the league today.
Celtic fans may think Tommy Heinsohn is a winner—but Tommy Heinsohn is not a champion to those of us concerned with the obligation to exemplify sportsmanship in the face of intense competition. Boston fans may defend his antics on national television; I find them inexcusable.
Barry McDermott says "...by then Boston had a 10-point lead and the corkscrews in the champagne." Please, Barry, use careful thumb and finger pressure—but no corkscrew—to open your next bottle of champagne.
After an already elongated regular schedule this year's playoffs lasted two months! That's not a playoff—it's a season. Enough already!
What a playoff! What games, superteams, super coaches! Fantastic! Basketball in June! Let 'em play til Labor Day.
JIM IANNONE JR.
Are we to believe (Converting Carolina Blue to Gold, June 14) that seven of the 15 best available amateur basketball players are from North Carolina Coach Dean Smith's conference, with four of those seven from his team? Then North Carolina should have won this year's NCAA tournament. But wait, I seem to remember the Tarheels being handled neatly in an opening round game by Alabama (nobody on the U.S. Olympic team from there, of course).
JAMES H. BERGLAND
The North Carolina coach had every right to load up the U.S. Olympic team with four of his own players, plus three more from the Atlantic Coast conference on a 15-man squad. And I, as an angry American, have every right to cheer for Canada, Mexico or Yugoslavia, instead of North Carolina, in the 1976 Olympics.
I am glad to see players like Dave Cash and Larry Bowa get some well-deserved recognition (Shh, the Phillies Are At Work, June 14), but I regret that there was no mention of two important and overlooked Phils, Bob Boone and Garry Maddox. Boone, who wasn't even a starter on opening day, is batting .330, yet in the power-packed Phillies' lineup he has to bat eighth. Maddox, although hampered by injuries, has hit solidly all year, and has covered center field in a manner "reminiscent of a...celebrated Giant centerfielder of other years." But thank you for the line story.
John Montefusco's unique ego, his baseball professionalism and his keen sense of humor make him a man to watch. An outstanding athlete, he is bringing some showbiz razzmatazz to the baseball held (The Lip Who is Split, June 7). We need more Montefuscos.
New York City