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NBA FINALS | VIEWPOINT LAKER LETTERS

Still Broom to Improve?

June 15, 2002

I was so confident the Lakers would win the championship that I'm already past the whole three-peat thing. I've gone on to giving the Lakers a name as they go after four in a row: The Quad Squad.

R.J. Johnson

North Hollywood

*

Congratulations! Winning three in a row is great, but don't party the summer away like last year.

After Tiger Woods did the impossible and won three consecutive majors, all he focused on was improving his game.

Lakers, get yourselves some Tony Robbins tapes and strive for constant improvement. Don't settle for mere greatness--try to be the best team ever.

Manny Ibay

Santa Monica

*

The Laker-Net series reminded me of a cat playing with a mouse: The cat swats the mouse around, lets it think it's going to escape, then pulls it back to swat it around a bit more ... before eating it.

Barbara L. Phillips

San Juan Capistrano

*

When I pay my taxes, I want to write the check to Robert Horry instead of the IRS. I want Robert to have veto power over any new legislation.

I want Randy Newman to write a song for him, maybe "Tall People," or "I Love Ho-rry."

When I visit my sick mother in the hospital, I want Robert to be the doctor who comes out to deliver the news to the family. I want him to say, "It was looking pretty bad in there," then flash that Will Smith-smile and say, "But I picked up a loose scalpel at the last second and the cancer's gone."

I want the Lakers to sign Robert for 40 more years. He may make only one shot when he's 70, but I know it will be a game-winner.

John Thompson

Chino

*

I would like to thank Mitch Richmond for showing what having dignity and class is all about.

To see a former superstar's playing time dwindle to a DNP (did not play) on the stat sheet and never once complain and continue to support his teammates is truly inspirational to anyone who ever bounced a ball.

To see the ball in Mitch's hands as the final seconds ticked off the clock to finally give him a championship after 14 years in the NBA made me believe that maybe good things do happen to good people.

Alvin M. Okamura

Encino

*

In the debate of who had it easier en route to winning nine titles, the Zen Master himself has failed to touch on one of the reasons why he has had it more difficult than Red Auerbach.

Red had the same group of guys together for all those years and didn't have the business affairs such as free agency to deal with. Because of free agency, the current Lakers have had no fewer than three starting power forwards during their current three-year championship run.

Mike Rosenthal

Thousand Oaks

*

Auerbach blasts Phil Jackson for inheriting his talent rather than building his own team. That's like an accountant of yesteryear blasting today's sophisticated CPA's for not having to deal with paper spreadsheets.

Stan Goldin

Santa Monica

*

After the agony of listening to Bill Walton throughout the playoffs, I have this recurring fantasy: I am perched over Walton's open, gaping, blathering mouth with a balled-up sock in my hand, just waiting for the next time he says "Throw it down!"

Jerry Gornik

Alta Loma

*

Mark Heisler, stop recommending Charles Oakley as if he is some sort of major upgrade. What the Lakers need is an athletic power forward who can run, make the short jumper, and truly defend the Duncans, Wallaces and Webbers in the West. Players such as Keon Clark, Antonio Davis, P.J. Brown, etc. An old Oakley can't do much more than pick fights with Shaq and deceive the Lakers before going elsewhere for more money.

Clarence Lutcher

Los Angeles

*

I found it interesting that it took all of about 30 seconds after the Lakers wrapped up their third consecutive championship for Marv Albert to mention the Sacramento Kings. I guess if you listen to Rick Adelman whine long enough you too would probably start believing that the best team in the West was not represented in the Finals.

I'm sorry, did I miss something? Sacramento has home-court advantage yet loses Games 1 and 7 in their own barn? If they really were the best team, then they should be able to win crucial games at home, right?

Perhaps the "best" team didn't represent the West in the Finals. Nope, just the better one.

Don Fulton

San Pedro

*

Shaq, as a lifelong Laker fan, I was thrilled when you signed in 1996. I've enjoyed watching you become the dominating player you are now.

But as you celebrate your third title, I can't help but feel sorrow and pity for you. Your attitude toward your biological dad is incomprehensible. I know you're hurt that he abandoned you, but he is your flesh and blood. Granted, he was a troubled man, but he did something only a loving father would do: He left you with a great stepfather who he felt would be a better father to you than he could ever be.

Shaq, I implore you, Father's Day is coming up: Go to the Goodwill shelter and give your dad a big hug and tell him you forgive him.

Su Pak

Los Angeles

*

Throughout the playoffs I have looked forward to reading your great coverage of the Lakers (Rick Majerus rules!) But you blew it big when you devoted front-page space to that giant photo and story about Shaquille's biological father. Talk about putting up a brick--that story belonged in the National Enquirer, not The Times.

Anna Amarandos

Huntington Beach

*

Fishing has been slow on the Sacramento River recently due to an increased amount of cowbells being thrown in. The water flows are very high due to an abundance of tears of fans and players flooding the streets of Sacramento. The crowds have been extra heavy due to all of the out-of-work athletes that have gone fishing.

Craig Schlicht

San Dimas

*

Sweep-peat!

Richard Sakai

Culver City

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