The Golden State Warriors got the short end of a very long stick when their rights to the NBA's first draft pick were abrogated by the NBA's new lottery system. Although we're not fans of the Warriors, we do favor fair treatment of teams and a balance of power in the NBA. The Warriors' future was shattered by the loss of Patrick Ewing to the undeserving New York Knicks. Golden State, which has been one of the NBA's doormats for the past several years, was robbed of a franchise player who could have put the team back on the road to success. We say no to New York and the NBA lottery.
A RUNNER'S HEART
As a third-year medical student who runs periodically, I was very much interested in Dan Levin's account The Telltale Heart (May 20). This interest was enhanced by the fact that I have just recently completed hearing a series of cardiology lectures. I learned that one must be skeptical about the reliability of any tests revealing heart disease in an athletic young man who doesn't smoke, have high blood pressure or a high cholesterol level. Therefore, it seems unconscionable to label someone, such as the author of the story, as having heart disease on the basis of these tests. In such a case, angiography is justifiable 1) to confirm heart disease and allow planning for subsequent therapy (unlikely) or 2) to rule out heart disease and allow the patient to resume a normal life without any anxieties or stigma attached (likely).
I fully identify with Dan Levin's experiences. I am also a middle-aged runner who works in the exercise business, and I began to question not only my invincibility but also my credibility because of Jim Fixx's death. I am reminded of this every time I have a pain high in the abdomen or my heart goes "floomp." The irony is that regular runners have a reduced risk for sudden death, yet they are highly concerned about dying. The death of Fixx has magnified this irony.
The lesson to be learned here by exercisers is one of perspective, not invincibility. The marathons and thousands of miles of training are not for nought. Thank you, Dan, for your runner's insight into a frightening dilemma.
NORMS M. RUSSELL, ED. D.
As a longtime SI fan, marathon runner and cardiologist, I was appalled by Dan Levin's article. This is a tasteless, neurotic diatribe by someone who clearly dislikes and distrusts the medical profession. Exertional chest pain in a 46-year-old male—even an athlete—needs to be taken very seriously. Levin was appropriately advised to have the definitive test, a coronary arteriogram (very routine with less than 1:1,000 risk of death or major complication) after "noninvasive" tests were abnormal. If he had initially followed this advice, he would have saved himself weeks of anguish and worry, his insurance company thousands of dollars, several physicians the frustration of dealing with a hostile patient and, perhaps more important, your readers and all cardiac patients the disservice of an emotionally charged and slanted view of cardiac testing and disease.
ALAN S. BRENNER, M.D.
My thanks to Jaime Diaz for a most understanding profile of a most misunderstood young woman, Hana Mandlikova (Hana Is Getting It All Together, May 20). Although she is still an enigma on the court, she no longer seems that much of a mystery off it.
As a longtime fan of Mandlikova's, I had always been curious about her "other side." Was her beauty as a tennis player a reflection of her inner beauty as a person? Was she as spoiled and disrespectful as she was made out to be? Well, aside from her occasional bouts of moodiness and irrationality—which prove her to be as human as the rest of us—Diaz's piece reveals Hana to be a nice, bright, insightful person.
If seeing things in gray tones is difficult for Mandlikova, here's one fan who believes that she looks and sounds just fine in her own iconoclastic black and white.
JAN RICHARD GORLIN
I appreciated Jaime Diaz's article on Hana Mandlikova. This fabulous tennis player possesses more physical grace and beauty, not to mention awesome shot-making ability, than anyone else in women's tennis today.
Here's one fan who hopes she does get her act together permanently. And yes, Ginger Rogers, Hana does have the most beautiful legs I too have ever seen!