WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED
The SPORTS ILLUSTRATED cover jinx seems to have set a new speed record. The day your Oct. 25 Pro Basketball Issue appeared we New Yorkers lost the incomparable Dr. J to the Philadelphia 76ers.
New York City
The Doctor signed for $3.5 million. If you want to jinx me like that, I'll send you an 8x10 glossy.
Not since Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth to help finance his theatrical interests has an act so darkened the American sports scene as the sale of Dr. J to Philadelphia. SI's Oct. 25 cover vividly reminds us that pro athletes today are mercenaries available to the millionaire with the biggest bankroll. The players are not really to blame for this; our avaricious system is.
THOMAS E. HILTON
The Doctor and Nets Owner Roy Boe will each be making $3 million from the deal with Philadelphia, so don't shed any tears for them. Weep instead for the Nets players and fans. We thought that this was the year that would bring an NBA championship to Long Island, but with the sale of Dr. J our dreams have been destroyed.
WARREN A. COHEN
The real culprit is neither Roy Boe nor Julius Erving, who are businessmen first. It is the NBA itself that should be criticized. By not stepping in to support Boe and require Erving to honor his contract, the league has, in effect, invalidated the contracts of other superstars, who are now at liberty to insist that their clubs renegotiate their contracts or trade them.
The good businessmen in the league ought to realize that this is not a moral issue, but one that threatens business stability.
Port Washington, N.Y.
BEST OF THE REST
Congratulations to Curry Kirkpatrick on his excellent preview of the 1976-77 NBA season (A Season for All Men, Oct. 25). As a Denver native and charter ABA fan, I was shocked to find, upon moving to Phoenix, that people really don't know about Bobby Jones, Ron Boone, Billy Knight and the rest of the incoming ABA stars. Kirkpatrick's report has shed some light on these fine athletes, and their ability on the court will take care of the rest. Dave Cowens will be surprised by the "Ice Man," George Gervin.
Curry Kirkpatrick said it best when he quoted Jerry West: " Denver could win it all."
I hope the crowds around the old circuit will adopt the four new franchises as readily as SI has. And thanks for the Allan Mardon illustrations. Ever since the story on Albert King (Uneasy Rise of a Brooklyn Star, Aug. 23) I have been looking forward to seeing more of his work. Your art director, Richard Gangel, must be a genius to consistently come up with such exciting artwork.
Jackson Heights, N.Y.
Thanks for picking the Warriors to stay on top in the Pacific Division. But how dare you portray Rick Barry (page 40) with a receding hairline when everyone knows by now that he sports a full head of hair, via a hair weave. Does this mean that you might someday show Humble Howard without his toupee?
San Mateo, Calif.