THE SEATTLE WALL—ET AL.
Your June 11 cover photograph of high scorer Gus Williams driving for a layup was superb, as was the shot of "The Seattle Wall" ( Jack Sikma, Lonnie Shelton and John Johnson). Great camera work, SI!
JEFF T. DEBERARDINIS
"The Seattle Wall" was one of the best basketball pictures I've ever seen when it came to illustrating what was really going on in a game.
BILLIE S. ERWIN
Stone Mountain, Ga.
SI's photography and prose on the Seattle-Washington series were exceptional. In contrast, CBS fell somewhat short. In a major market, the San Francisco- Oakland area, two of the five games of the series were tape-delayed and shown at 11:30 p.m. The NBA championship should be treated as an event comparable to the World Series, but by televising the games at such a late hour the network destroyed continuity for the fan. I, for one, protest.
Thank you for the nice cover and story about our world champion SuperSonics! We in the Northwest realize how difficult it must be for fans in the more populated regions of the country to identify with our basketball idols. Therefore, it was easy enough for us to understand why the recently announced first and second NBA All-League teams included no players from Seattle. But there is one thing that makes no sense to us. How could Coach-of-the-Year honors go to Cotton Fitzsimmons of Kansas City? Our Lenny Wilkens won the championship with players who aren't notable enough to have made even the second-string All-League team!
PLAYING WITH PAIN
Congratulations on your recent investigative reports on abuses in college football (May 21) and in jai alai and sports medicine (June 11). Such articles raise SI far above the routine scores-and-personalities magazines.
Regarding the potential for abuse—or the appearance of abuse—when team physicians are paid by management, a simple solution seems apparent. Why not have the players' associations employ the team physicians? The link to management would be broken and a true doctor-patient relationship would exist.
ERNEST F. DUBRUL
During four years as the physician for a minor league hockey team, I was exposed to some of the problems described in the article Playing Hurt—the Doctors' Dilemma. Because of that experience I came to several conclusions about what a physician for a professional club should be and how he should relate to the team.
First, because medical problems—respiratory infections, cuts, abrasions and the like—are predominant, a physician with broad medical experience should be the team physician, with an orthopedist acting in a consultative role. This is especially important in cases in which surgery may be needed.
Second, more health information on individual players is needed, especially a continuing record that follows the player as he moves from team to team. To my knowledge, such records are not kept in hockey.
Finally, though I think that the individual team should appoint its own physician, I also feel strongly that the physician should report ultimately to the league president. This would relieve the team doctor of the need to cater to the team's interest and make him responsible to someone who has the broader interest of the game and its players at heart.
DANIEL M. LANE, M.D., PH.D.