Sprewell 'just plain wrong'Concerning Milton Kent's...

Letters

December 28, 1997

Sprewell 'just plain wrong'

Concerning Milton Kent's "Perspective" column about the disciplinary action taken against Latrell Sprewell, let's see if I've got this right: Because, as Kent lists ad nauseam, other sports figures have gotten off lightly for bad behavior, Sprewell should have, too.

Now, we're talking about a man with a history of violence who choked his own coach, left the scene of the crime, then came back and inflicted further physical injury on the coach while threatening to kill him.

Call me naive, but I always thought people who can't or won't control their violent tendencies were called "dangerous" and were institutionalized for punishment and/or mandatory therapy.

Kent says the NBA did not try hard enough to contact Sprewell after the incident. Why should the league have tried at all? There was nothing to discuss -- Sprewell's behavior was just plain wrong.

Then, Kent wants my heart to bleed for this poor basketball player who didn't get "looked in the eye" and given a chance to "explain" his actions before being separated from his chosen career for a "prolonged period," maybe as much as two years.

Since Sprewell has already made more money playing a game than many working people will see in their lifetime, I just can't sympathize. Sprewell could have stayed in his chosen profession without interruption by acting like a professional.

Apparently, it is more important to Kent that the games continue than it is for people to behave decently.

I say "well done" to David Stern, the NBA commissioner #i responsible for Sprewell's discipline. Stern's action might help some people realize that mouthing an apology at TV cameras will not let them off the hook for inexcusable behavior.

Kathy Phoenix

Baltimore Major professional athletics is spiraling out of control and becoming a disgrace to even the most avid of fans. The recent events in the NBA may have a significant impact on the future of the league and its image.

Perhaps for the first time in the modern, mega-dollar era, professional sports somewhat mirrored the real world employer/employee relationship -- employee physically assaults boss; employer fires employee. Those who argue that the punishment Latrell Sprewell received for choking and punching P. J. Carlesimo was too firm should reconsider.

Every day, in all phases of life, people are unfairly used as examples. How often does the media single out, expose and destroy a single company in a corrupt sector of business, or how often do we witness a judge imposing a seemingly stiff sentence on a guilty party? From events such as these, society does on occasion respond and change favorably; moreover, the NBA also should respond positively.

Sprewell's team contract termination and subsequent one-year

suspension from the league can be perceived as excessive. However, it was necessary. For high-dollar sports to remain in our living rooms, on our kids' walls and on the clothes on our back, it must follow, to some degree, the same set of rules that you and I do.

J. Slaughter

Baltimore

Remember the Stallions!

Shame on you. Again, money, power and politics seem to prevail.

Although it was nice to watch the Ravens conclude professional sports played at Memorial Stadium by finally squeaking out a victory, I saw scant mention in your paper or other media of the accomplishments of the CFL Stallions.

In their two seasons, the Stallions compiled an enviable 32-10 record and were the last professional sports team located at 33rd Street to forge a championship season, winning the CFL's Grey Cup in 1995.

Hooray for Jim Speros, Don Matthews and the entire team and cheerleaders of the 1994-95 Baltimore Stallions.

David H. Madden

Baltimore

Terps need new point guard

For the lack of a point guard, a Maryland basketball season was lost. Three seasons lost? Four? Hey, Gary Williams, you're not getting any younger. Do you really have the luxury of wasting two more seasons on the woefully inept Terrell Stokes? Do Maryland fans?

This season's team is younger, deeper and possibly stronger than the 1996-97 squad. Yet its point guard play has been abysmal. No one will know just how strong this team is until Williams sits Stokes and rotates Laron Profit, Matt Kovarik and Sarunas Jasikevicius at the point.

onnie M. Belt

Baltimore Last basketball season, the Southwestern High Sabers, under the direction of coach Terry Leverett, had a perfect season of 27-0. Coach Leverett has basked in that achievement since March. On the evening of Dec. 13, 1997, he severely tarnished his image as a leader of young men.

During the Randallstown-Southwestern game, Coach Leverett pulled his team off the court with 2: 49 left in the game? Why? Was there fear of safety for his players? No. It was merely because a referee called a foul on one of his players. Coach Leverett disputed the call in such an unsportsmanlike manner that he was assessed a technical foul. Then he took his ball and his player and went home.

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