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Readers Not Bullish on NBA Analysis

June 26, 1993

Mark Heisler has been missing the point all season, so why should his most recent commentary be any different?

So Detroit was a dynasty? Well, it took that dynasty six games to beat an outmanned, inexperienced Bull team and go on to win its first championship. The next year, it took seven games and a Scotty Pippen migraine to squeak past the Bulls. Both years the Pistons had a far easier time beating Western Conference teams in the finals.

As for the glory teams of the past, big deal! Could Billy Cunningham even dunk? And how 'bout those Celtics, seven teams in the league and two rounds in the playoffs, whoa!

Get a grip, Heisler. Even if Michael Jordan wasn't the greatest player that ever lived, the Bulls would have won in that league.


West Hollywood


Mark Heisler, why don't you get off the Bulls' backs? They won three in a row and will probably go on to win five in a row. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

I am 73 years old and have seen all the great teams, and the Bulls would be competitive against them. You dismiss Pippen as a nothing, which reinforces my opinion that your basketball knowledge leaves something to be desired.

Give the Bulls their due. They are the champions and will be for at least two more years.




Comparisons between the Bulls and prior NBA champions begin and end with Michael Jordan, because none of the other Bulls could have broken into the lineups of the other great teams. The Bulls' three-peat is remarkable, but the team still does not measure up to the standards of prior Celtic, Laker, 76er and Knick teams.


Van Nuys


Thanks, once again, for gracing us with the insights of the incomparable sports professor, Dr. Bob Oates. I mean, why limit the James Agee of sports analysis to gridiron studies alone?

When the average basketball Bubba thinks of the Bulls, he thinks of Michael Jordan. He thinks, "Hey, Gene Shue could get these guys into the playoffs." Give the ball to Michael, who puts it up 35 times a game. Pippen runs and jumps his man to death, Grant joins them in putting on defensive pressure. Armstrong and Paxson throw in a few threes and the rest take up space and collect their rings. Simple.

Who but the inimitable professor could have put his finger on Phil Jackson as the reason "more than anyone else" for Chicago's success? Now we know it was really Coach Jackson and his IQ, along with his venerable assistants, their "complicated" triangle offense and their state-trooper-tough defense. To think that Jack Nicholson, Bubba and myself once thought of the NBA as a player's league. Silly us.




There's a lot I could criticize about NBC's NBA soap-opera coverage, but Magic Johnson's stream-of-violence monologue was the low point. And when he wasn't advocating smashing the other guy, he was interpreting the "trash talking" for us potatoes on the couch.

While I realize it's far too late to mourn the death of sportsmanship in all sports, this viewer finds basketball-as-hockey very sad, potentially laughable and ultimately boring. As for Magic, his skills, size and strength convinced us he's no cream puff. But I don't remember a trash-talking, violent attitude. I remember a smile.


Los Angeles

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