SI Vault
April 06, 1998
If Iverson is the future of the NBA, then the NBA has no future with me.—DON MAYNARD, Cary, N.C.
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April 06, 1998


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If Iverson is the future of the NBA, then the NBA has no future with me.

Warren Sapp
Tampa Bay's Warren Sapp was shafted in the NFL draft process, but he had the intelligence to make his case on the field rather than in the courts (Buccaneers Blabbermouth, March 9). Yet he can't understand why he should apologize for putting San Francisco's Jerry Rice out of commission. Sapp brought down the greatest receiver in the history of football—and with a dirty play—robbing Rice, the sport and the fans.

In describing how Warren Sapp impatiently overtook an 18-wheeler "by using an unoccupied on-ramp as a passing lane," you have glorified reckless and illegal driving. Impressionable readers will come away thinking that's how stars should behave. As the editorial director of a magazine for professional truck drivers, I know that if my readers did something like that, the public would be outraged.
Road King Magazine

Allen Iverson
Rick Reilly's story about NBA phenom Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers (Counter Point, March 9) revealed a side of the talented point guard that most of us have never seen. Beneath the hype and flamboyance lies a 22-year-old kid growing up under the scrutiny of a world waiting for him to make a mistake. I hope that the media spotlight that tagged Iverson as a bad boy from the get-go will not keep him from dazzling us with jaw-dropping crossovers for years to come.

I give Iverson a standing ovation for appreciating the mom who played such an integral part in his climb to the top.

You glorify a 22-year-old who couldn't finish school without tutoring (given because he could play basketball), was convicted (later overturned) of a felony, has two kids out of wedlock and has no respect for his teammates or the game of basketball. The message sent to kids is mat they should strive to have cars, clothes and jewelry. What a goal.
JAMES N. ROE, Scottsdale, Ariz.

The statement that Iverson's conviction was "reversed by the state court of appeals due to insufficient evidence" is a bit misleading. Iverson's conviction was overturned by the court of appeals of Virginia, but Reilly did not mention that in doing so the court said that "the evidence would have been sufficient to prove individual assaultive conduct." In other words, the court said that Iverson committed assault but that the evidence was insufficient to support the more esoteric offense of mob violence with which Iverson had been charged.
Newport News, Va.

I was disappointed with Richard Hoffer's treatment of Phil Scaffidi's courageous effort to break the Niagara assist record despite having adrenal cancer (SCORECARD, March 9). Referring to Scaffidi's record as "highly artificial" and "cheap" darkens an inspiring story. I was about four years old when Scaffidi died, and I later graduated from Niagara. I played a thousand times in Scaffidi gym and saw his retired number hanging in the Gallagher Center. Hoffer asks what were they thinking of in allowing a record to fall this way. Maybe Dan Raskin, Niagara's coach at the time, thought that he'd let the kid the happy. Maybe he wanted to let Scaffidi feel normal when everyone knew he would soon die.

What Wall?
The Spurs' Tim Duncan has "hit the wall" (INSIDE THE NBA, March 9)? Sure. In 22 games through last Thursday (games 49 to 70 of his rookie season), he averaged 24.3 points (as opposed to 18.2 for his first 48 games), 13.1 rebounds (11.5) and 2.8 blocked shots (2.4). He was named the NBA Player of the Week for Feb. 23-March I and Rookie of the Month for the first four months of this season. Duncan, who's having as good a season as any rookie in a decade, was third in the league in rebounds and tied for sixth in blocked shots. In fact, he's a strong contender for a first-team All-NBA forward spot.
LEON HOWELL, Silver Spring, Md.