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NBA FINALS: LETTERS

It Didn't Take Long to Get Motor Running

June 06, 2004

I guess the best way to keep interested in this series would be to try to read Rasheed Wallace's lips and count the four-letter words, or place bets on whether Ben Wallace shows up in cornrows or 'fro.

R.J. Deakins

Temecula

*

I think this is a perfect time to welcome the Detroit Pistons to town, since we don't have a pro football team here. Man, those guys hit hard!

Henry Rosenfeld

Santa Monica

*

Over the past 15 years I have gotten pretty sick and tired about hearing how the Pistons swept the Lakers in the 1989 NBA Finals. What they always fail to mention is the fact that Byron Scott and Magic Johnson were injured during the series with only Magic playing in one game and a hobbled part of another.

Now it's payback time.

Geno Apicella

Burbank

*

Aside from the usual great L.A. Times sports headline puns for Shaq and Kobe throughout the season, it continues to segue into the playoffs for other players who are stepping up, among them "Closing With a Rush" and "The Fisher Fling."

So, the real burning question is not the number of games the Lakers may take to win the Finals, but rather when Slava gets his turn to bask in the headline spotlight, how you guys can cleverly finagle the last name "Medvedenko" into a sly, witty headline.

Mark J. Featherstone

Windsor Hills

*

A plea to Kobe, Karl, Gary Payton, Derek Fisher and Coach Jackson: If camaraderie, winning more championships and being part of another Lakers dynasty aren't enough to motivate you all to come back next year, let the intentionally disrespectful and insulting words of Sam "E.T." Cassell be the motivation.

Specifically, E.T. asserted after Game 6 that this Laker championship will have an asterisk next to it because E.T. couldn't play. He went so far as to say that "everybody who knows basketball" would agree that the Timberwolves would have won had he played. Evidently, E.T. successfully "phoned home," because clearly he no longer resides on Earth.

Grant A. Carlon

El Segundo

*

It is truly amazing how the Lakers won the Western Conference championship. Amazing because they had five men on the floor versus eight for the Timberwolves.

Maybe the league should start reviewing the tapes and fine the refs for bad calls that have consistently been made throughout the playoffs. Let the Lakers play on an equal playing field.

Karen Lee

Woodland Hills

*

What an amazing game Monday night! It cost me $350 to sit in the upper level at Staples Center, but I knew I had to be there when I saw the starting lineup of Dick Bavetta, Ken Mauer and Ed F. Rush. The refereeing equivalent of the Dream Team. And, to be sure, I wasn't disappointed.

Only 11 foul calls in the first quarter, but they were just getting warmed up. My excitement peaked when they called an amazing 23 fouls in the second period. It was just one whistle after another! Again and again. I could barely catch my breath.

And then, the true professionals that they are, they stepped back in the third quarter, calling only six fouls, and graciously allowed the players a few moments in the limelight. But in the fourth quarter they came back strong, calling technical fouls on Karl Malone and Kobe Bryant to go with an earlier technical foul on Gary Payton. Woo-hoo ... the hat trick!

I just couldn't believe I had the good fortune to witness 62 personal fouls and 57 free throws! An ESPN Instant Classic for sure.

Oh yeah ... and the Lakers won too.

Michael Gersch

Whittier

*

Congratulations to the Lakers on their series victory over our Timberwolves. Good luck in the Finals.

But what was more notable was the reaction of the Laker fans during the trophy presentation. When Stu Jackson from the league office extended the usual courtesy of congratulations and "job well done" to the opponent and gave the Laker fans the opportunity to be gracious victors, the people representing your fine city in the stands that night poured out a chorus of boos.

That is the difference between our communities. Both teams made their communities proud. I can't imagine anyone could say the same about the Laker fans. That's what we call poor winners.

Kevin Shannon

Minneapolis

*

Why is it that just because the Lakers, with new players learning new offenses, injuries and legal problems, didn't go undefeated through both the regular season and the playoffs, all of the L.A. Times sportswriters accuse them of apathy and being overpaid, underachieving crybabies?

Nowhere else can a division title and three-games-to-one lead in the conference finals be considered a disappointment. Apparently, based on this often-repeated theme, the sportswriters are too apathetic themselves to find something original and worth writing about.

Glen Schnablegger

Fullerton

*

Even if they win the championship, there are two things that can never be said about these Lakers:

They never gave up. They played hard every minute of every game.

Patrick Derby

Manhattan Beach

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