THE ABA'S DAY ON COURT
The NBA may have the most exciting league in the history of sports, but you've made it even better by allowing Curry Kirkpatrick to tell us about it (They Came to Play, Nov. 15). He can certainly turn a phrase. In fact, his account registered a heavy 9.2 on the Curry Kirkpatrick WOW scale.
Democrat and Chronicle
The NBAers, like the members of the National Football League in the 1960s, are quickly learning that their newest acquisitions can beat them at their own game.
PETER D. KIRLES
Your great picture of David Thompson proved it. He and the Denver Nuggets are head and shoulders above the rest.
Somehow I got the impression from the article that you feel the ABA teams acquired in the merger gave the NBA an added touch of class. The facts don't quite bear this out.
When I read my morning paper on Nov. 12, I noticed that the Denver Nuggets had lost a game to Buffalo. Of the 10 teams other than Denver that had won at least half the games they had played, not one had come from the ABA. The New York Nets were in last place in the Atlantic Division; San Antonio was in last place in the Central Division; Denver was in first place and Indiana in fourth place in the Midwest Division. I realize that it is too early to draw any conclusions, but I don't think the old NBA clubs were all that bad.
HARRY B. MERICAN
How can Curry Kirkpatrick term Don Chaney a "former ABA" player? That's like calling Larry Csonka a former WFL player.
F. JULES LUND JR.
Curry Kirkpatrick called the Spirits of St. Louis a last-place team. The Virginia Squires finished last both years the Spirits existed, and the Squires have even more former players in the NBA than the Spirits: Julius Erving, Charlie Scott, George Gervin, Swen Nater, Mike Green, Mack Calvin, Jan Van Breda Kolff, Ticky Burden, Mel Bennett, Darrell Elston, Willie Wise, Roland (Fatty) Taylor, Dave Twardzik, Marv Roberts and Johnny Neumann.
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
A year ago I was the broadcaster for the Utah Stars. Curry Kirkpatrick mentioned that eight members of the Spirits of St. Louis are now playing in the NBA. I think it's interesting that no less than five members of last year's Utah team are now in the league: Ron Boone of Kansas City, Moses Malone and Goo Kennedy of Houston, Steve Green of Indiana and Randy Denton of Atlanta. For that matter, both Utah coaches ( Tom Nissalke and Del Harris) are now working for Houston. Add Willie Wise of Denver, who played several years in Utah, and the total is six. It shows how balanced the ABA was and that a team like Utah, which went out of business early in the 1975-76 season, might have been competitive in the NBA.
Radio Station WELI
New Haven, Conn.
INFAMY OR FAME?
The jinx strikes again! First Julius Erving was traded, then Dave Cowens decided to quit. Your pro basketball preview cover (Oct. 25) was lethal.
So much for the infamous SI cover jinx. The weekend after you put Tony Dorsett on your cover, Michigan lost to Purdue, permitting the Pitt Panthers to become No. 1.
LAWRENCE C. RUFFNER