Anyone who would not welcome Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley back with open arms has not been watching the NBA lately.
—JAMIE FARQUHAR, Vail, Colo.
Michael Pro and Con
Rick Reilly must think Michael Jordan is still 29 years old (THE LIFE OF REILLY, March 19). Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson would run circles around Jordan on the court now. As a Lakers fan living in Illinois, I would love to see Jordan return and play against the 22-year-old Kobe, not the 18-year-old he faced during the 1996-97 season.
CARY SAWYER, Bloomington, Ill.
For 35 years I was a dedicated NBA fan. Since Jordan retired, I no longer watch games or follow the box scores. Quite simply, the NBA no longer exhibits quality competition and sportsmanship. But if Jordan comes back, I will too. Without him, the NBA can't survive, and I don't care if it does.
HARRY J. CAITO, Westlake, Ohio
Thanks to Frank Deford for a great article about Lou Piniella (Sweet & Lou, March 19). Yankees fans from the 1970s remember a slow guy with an average arm who always took the extra base and who was always in position to make the play in the field. But my best memory of Lou is of him embracing Bobby Murcer in the Yankees' dugout after Bobby drove in the winning run on the night of Thurman Munson's funeral in 1979.
TOM HELBIG, Warren, N.J.
Loved Sweet Lou, both as a player and a manager with the Yankees and as a manager everywhere else. The adjustments he made after losing the Big Unit and Junior allowed the Mariners to take the Yankees to six games in the American League Championship Series.
FRED MAY, Riverside, Calif.
I was happy to learn that Piniella is still married to Anita and that the two of them are going strong. Now if Lou would only give up smoking, he'd be a terrific role model for young athletes.
THOMAS K. ROWE JR., Alexandria, Va.
Begs to Differ
I am a big enough person to accept the reality of not having been a very good football player for Columbia between 1985 and '88, but Marcellus Wiley's revisionist slant (Hard Charger, March 19) that my teammates and I viewed football "as a P.E. class" is an insult to the tremendous effort we put in just to win a few games. It also makes me sorry that as a graduate assistant football coach at Columbia, I invited him to that reception in California. I guess he and associate athletic director Jackie Blackett know what makes for good copy, and it doesn't necessarily have to be the truth. Shame on both of them.
BILL MCGEE, Brunswick, Maine
Never the Twain Meets
Steve Rushin's courageous and startling perspective on how gun use permeated youth sports on the days and weeks before the shootings at Santana High in Santee, Calif., was a sane and revealing indictment of this country's gun culture (AIR AND SPACE, March 19).
FRED DAVIS, Pasadena, Md.
I'm one of the 65 million American gun owners who didn't kill anyone yesterday. Those who did are statistically insignificant. Maybe we should ban high school sports because apparently the tensions developed during the games lead to arguments and mayhem.
PAUL A. DILLS, Charlotte, Mich.
Who is Rushin? Rosie O'Donnell's sister? I purchase SPORTS ILLUSTRATED to read about sports, not to hear some weak sister antigunner whine about people who are shot.
THOMAS R. COOK III, Chattanooga