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VIEWPOINT LETTERS

O'Neal, Bryant Not Gaining Any Friends

October 25, 2003

The incessant, immature, self-centered, insensitive lack of class displayed by a man gifted with a 7-foot-1, 340-pound body and the remarkable athleticism most of us would cherish is wearing very thin.

After reaping monetary rewards estimated at several hundred million dollars, the lifestyle of a king and the adulation of untold, impressionable young minds, one would hope to see behavior from Shaquille O'Neal befitting a role model worth imitating. I am not naive enough to think that the almighty dollar doesn't drive the Shaq machine, but it may be time for the likes of the Sheriff's Department and McDonald's to focus their efforts on other worthy candidates who are capable of promoting the image of grace, humility and selflessness our youth so desperately need.

Nelson E. Murphy

Lake Forest

*

Kobe Bryant should keep his mouth shut about planning to test the market next season if he's looking for fan support this season. It seems a tad premature anyway, considering he might have to spend several "seasons" playing pickup games in the prison yard.

It's hard to stomach his cliches about God and rainbows when hearing testimony about what he allegedly did while his wife and infant daughter were home sleeping.

Tracy Randolph

Oxnard

*

Despite the presence of Gary Payton and Karl Malone and the absence of Kobe Bryant, the Lakers' preseason schedule has revealed that last year's negative issues -- no outside shooting and no bench -- remain. Thus the key to their success will be whether they decide to play defense.

I can't help but be struck by how eerily similar the Laker preseason has been to that of another California team now trying to salvage a season, the Oakland Raiders.

Kevin Holten

Manhattan Beach

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