Aye-aye to Jack McCallum's Bad Dream (Aug. 23). Not to pass the buck, but let's place the blame where it belongs: on the NBA rules committee, which decided to move the three-point line back three feet to create space for ticket-selling dunkers. That has morphed a balanced team game into a dysfunctional one played by cookie-cutter small forwards (masquerading as guards and power forwards) who can dunk from the foul line but can't shoot from it. Let three-point sharpshooters clear the lane for our entertaining dunkers and mammoth centers by moving the three-point line back to where it belongs. That would help the U.S. regain international prominence and also make the NBA game a team sport again.
Paul Harmer, Page, Ariz.
The poor showing by the U.S. men's Olympic basketball team is far more indicative of the style of play in the NBA than the talent level. Too many players want to be the next Michael Jordan rather than emulate the way Magic Johnson and Larry Bird played. Commissioner David Stern should focus more on operational excellence than on marketing.
Jim Norton, Milford, Mass.
People seem to forget that basketball at the Olympics is a team game. The best team is the current NBA champion. Why not have that team represent our country every four years? Then we would have no excuses.
Jim Shea, Winneconne, Wis.
Despite the fact that Puerto Rico was not one of the stronger teams at the Olympics, it demonstrated tremendous teamwork, hustle and composure. It is not embarrassing to lose to such a group. Members of the Dream Team, while being lambasted for their lack of effort and for being poor role models, actually exhibited sportsmanship. They acknowledged their opponents' performances and accepted the defeat with professionalism. In this instance Allen Iverson and many of his teammates were excellent role models.
Ernest Rodriquez, Nashville
Phil the One