My congratulations to SI and to your Herbert Warren Wind for his superb series
on Bob Cousy. Mr. Wind's golf coverage, particularly his lengthy account of the
Masters tournament last spring, was the best I have ever read anywhere. I was
pleasantly surprised to find him a basketball expert, too, writing with as much
knowledge and insight on basketball as he does on golf. His job on Cousy,
indeed, was also a history of the evolution of basketball, and I thought was
written with unusual care. As to Cousy, he is to basketball what Babe Ruth,
Feller, DiMaggio and Williams have been to baseball. Surprisingly, too many
sportswriters still regard basketball as a minor sport, and Cousy is not nearly
as well known (particularly here in the Midwest and in Chicago where we are
without a professional team) as he deserves to be.
Wind is best known for his golf reporting, he has been writing on sports in
general for the past 20-odd years. Herb grew up in Brockton, Massachusetts, a
basketball hotbed where high school teams are famous for their records and
backyard courts as ubiquitous as in Indiana. He was a member of the '35 and '36
Yale teams and has played the game in such unlikely places as South America and
I have just finished your article on Bob Cousy and must say this story is
exceptional even for your high standards. I had never realized what a wonderful
man Bob is, on and off the court.
I think SI is
growing better every issue.
WHERE WAS THE
I have just finished the second of your articles on the number two basketball
player in the game today.
There are 28
great names mentioned, including the "Original Celtics," but I have yet
to run across the name of the greatest of them all, Tom Gola.
I hope that Mr.
Wind realizes that in five seasons the Celtics have had mediocre seasons led by
Bob Cousy, and in just one half of a season Tom Gola is leading his team to a
•It was not SI's
intention to mention in the Cousy articles every player, coach and official who
has contributed to the growth and development of basketball. Many more, of
course, would necessarily be included in any truly comprehensive study; to name
just one: Frank Keany, the coach of Rhode Island State and the chief of
fire-engine basketball. SI may even have failed to elaborate on the
contributions of some mentioned in the articles. For instance, the imaginative
style of basketball played by Cousy and his teammates at Holy Cross was
testimony to Coach Doggie Julian's ability to recognize that his talented squad
would be far better off if not chained to restricting formal, patterns. Julian,
to be sure, is a progressive coach and deserves considerable credit for
recognizing Cousy's great instinctive abilities and aiding their
A PROPOSAL AND A
Here is a rather unorthodox suggestion for overcoming the excess height problem
in basketball. How about placing a restriction on the total number of inches of
players any team could have in a game at one time. Thus, if it were agreed upon
that the average height of players should not exceed 6 feet 3 inches (75
inches), then a team would be permitted five times this figure, or 375 total
inches of players at one time. Then if a team such as Kansas with Wilt
Chamberlain (7 feet 2 inches) wished to play its giant, it would have to limit
the height of the other players in the game to allow for the larger man. In
Chamberlain's case, he being 86 inches tall, his teammates would be left with
289 inches to divide among themselves (an average of a little over 6 feet per
man). This would actually not be difficult to administer. I might add that it
is just as unfair to ask a 6-foot 5-inch man to contend with a seven-footer as
it is to ask a light-weight to box a heavyweight.
In Jan. 16 19TH
HOLE, Allison Cook, of Tallahassee, Florida, decries SI's integration of
sociology with sports. It would seem to me that the two are interwoven in
essence. Is not the intermingling of the French and English speaking people at
the Montreal Forum on Saturday nights just as much a part of the glamour of Les
Canadiens as is the play of Richard & Co.? Can the same not be said about
the spectacle of seeing an entire town turning out to watch the local high
school team do battle? Wouldn't Montreal hockey and high school basketball be
much less appealing to real sporting fans if the sociology were not there to go
along with the sport?