Letter writers let NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman know what they think of… (Bruce Bennett / Getty Images )
Does anyone other than Gary Bettman believe that equally sharing an estimated $3 billion in annual revenue with the players is less preferable than the current unequal sharing of a guaranteed $0 in annual revenue?
Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke thinks NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is "a brilliant guy." Yes, it does take a genius to cancel 21/2 seasons, but what Burke means is that Bettman builds big profits for the owners. That's great for them, but not for the fans who actually pay the bills. Where would the owners be if the fans stayed home and also ignored the lucrative TV broadcasts? The lockout is an extra slap in the face to Kings fans, wiping out the season right after the Kings won their first Stanley Cup.
Put Bettman on the ice. At least that would lessen the bad smell in the commissioner's office.
It truly does not matter at this point how much NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA head Donald Fehr believe in their respective causes. Perception is reality, and it sure looks like they are intent on blowing up the limited credibility the NHL had. How these two gentlemen managed to reduce to rubble a league that featured pro sports' most humble and talented athletes is beyond me. A pox on both their houses.
He needs help
I just finished reading the article "Slugger with a support system" that should have been titled, "Josh Hamilton: It's all about me."
I'm so sick of these stories about these egocentric multimillion-dollar sports babies. I have a few questions for Josh Hamilton: Do you live in Newtown Conn., maybe have a child in Sandy Hook School? Have you served in Iraq or Afghanistan (or in any military branch)? Do you wake up in the morning, put on a gun and badge and attempt to make the streets safer for crybaby baseball players? Do you run into burning buildings to save people? Are you a nurse who spends 12 hours a day running from bed to bed trying to comfort sick people and their families?
If you answered no to these and 100 other questions I could ask, then I'm sorry but I don't have a lot of sympathy and I'm not interested in reading about the "Josh and Katie" show. Just tell me, for $25 million can you play something close to 150 games and can you lay off an outside slider?
Signing Josh Hamilton was a terrible move for the Angels. The money would have been far better spent on Zack Greinke. Torii Hunter was the team leader and meant more to this team than a troubled individual like Hamilton can be. The Angels added Albert Pujols and played worse last year (while the Cardinals played well without him). I predict the Angels will be worse still this coming year. They are now following the old playbook of the Rangers, who used to emphasize power and hitting and finished badly. Wake up; pitching is the name of the game.
Los Osos, Calif.
My late friend Bob Woolf was one of the first sports agents. Woolf repped Larry Bird when he came out of Indiana State. When Larry signed his contract for $1 million a year Bob told me that in the not-too-distant future pro athletes would be earning $10 million a year and more. He also regaled me with his stories about negotiating with Red Auerbach regarding Larry's contract. As Jim Peltz's article notes, Bob Woolf was correct and Red Auerbach is rolling over in his grave.
Philip S. Hart.
I guess with the salaries of the athletes and politicians, our country is in better shape than we are led to believe. I guess middle-class America just has not heard that.
I don't resent the salaries paid to athletes for the simple reason that entertainment (movies, TV, music, sports) generates a huge amount of revenue. It seems fair that the people with the actual talent are the ones who make the lion's share. I have a pretty good idea of what's required to perform on the athletic field, but have never understood what talent it took to be a team owner.
On to the Lakers
I totally disagree that Pau Gasol is the Lakers' problem. Jim Buss created an untenable situation with a hot-headed coach who seems frustrated with the talent on the team. By letting Phil Jackson slip through his fingers, Jim turned this season into a travesty. He is not the first son to tarnish his father's legacy. It's time to bring the tale of two Mikes to an end. Bring on Brian Shaw or transform Kobe into a player-coach. Teams play better for coaches they respect and vice versa.
I'm not a rocket scientist but here's my solution to the Pau Gasol dilemma. Play him on the second team and several problems are fixed:
(1) He becomes the first option instead of the third option.
(2) The second team becomes a strong team instead of a weak team. Gasol's scoring, rebounding and passing will be a force so the reserves team can put up good numbers.