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Letters / Our readers speak out

Pippen's focus is too narrow

I can understand how Scottie Pippen can choose LeBron James over Michael Jordan as a better player but his other assumption claiming these two players are the best of all time is incorrect. Larry Bird, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain and Magic Johnson could all claim this honor.

Martin Farrell

West Seneca

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Shaq more bully than a talent

Now that Shaquille O'Neal has retired, sportswriters and other pundits have sung his praise. Pardon me if I am not awestruck by the fact that a 7-foot-1 man can dunk a basketball. O'Neal's game consisted of bullying his 325-pound frame under the boards and either dropping the ball in or dunking. What a scary talent that is. If he had to rely on field goals or free throws -- which require an actual talent -- he would not have made it past the college level.

Dave Parker

Lackawanna

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Make teams pay for head shots

There have been many suggestions offered lately as to what the NHL should do regarding dangerous checks or hits to the head.

The way I look at it, the punishment needs to be severe enough immediately to possibly alter the outcome of the game being played along with a postgame penalty or suspension, if you will, that may alter future games.

The answer may be right under the broken noses of the NHL brass awarding a penalty shot, or two, depending on the flagrancy of the violation, in addition to a suspension for the guilty player. This would not only possibly affect the game being played to a greater degree than a resulting power play would, but also add to the present way these situations are being handled, showing the fans something is being done to correct the situation in a more serious vein. If need be, award the penalty shot or two plus a power play to the affected team depending on the seriousness of the action, e.g. a player being carried off on a stretcher.

Obviously, the deterrents in place now aren't working. These violations are still persistent in our game and need to be eliminated short of taking the body check completely out of the game.

Dale Slisz

Williamsville

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County should lock out Bills

The last time I looked, the stadium at One Bills Drive was built by taxpayers of Erie County. And the last time I looked, the huge enclosed practice facility next to the stadium was also built by taxpayers.

So where does a corporation wholly owned by Ralph Wilson come off by "locking out" Buffalo Bills players from county-owned facilities.

The county should avoid taking sides in this labor dispute.

However our elected officials should tell Bills corporate officers that if players are locked out then to be fair, the county will also lock out all other members of the organization until the dispute is settled.

And there is no reason that taxpayer-funded facilities should be used to peddle the new Bills uniforms to gullible fans. Let the Bills rent a couple of stores as every other for-profit organization does.

Cheryl Cranston

West Seneca

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Move to the Mets bad for Buffalo

As a Bison fan going back to the Offerman Stadium days, the change from the Cleveland Indians to the New York Mets has been disgusting. Yes, I know we didn't want this change.

Being the Triple-A team with the Indians in the '90s has spoiled many of us fans.

For 10 years with Cleveland, the Bisons were in the playoffs nine times and won three league championships. Let's not forget the best of them all when the Bisons won the Governors' Cup by beating Richmond here at home.

The sad part of last week was the shellacking by the Columbus Clippers, the team Cleveland took away from Buffalo.

If you follow many of the results of other major league teams, you would see how many players came through the Bisons over the years and still are in the majors -- Grady Sizemore, Victor Martinez, Cliff Lee, Bartolo Colon, Marco Scutaro, etc.

As for attendance then and now, we had triple other team's a few times.

With the Mets hurting for money, what other major league team would make a move for the Bisons as their Triple-A team? The Yankees? Ha!

Richard Papaj

North Tonawanda

Send comments to Sports Talk, The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y., 14240. Letters may also be sent via fax to 849-4587 or e-mail to sports@buffnews.com. Letters should be limited to 250 words and are subject to editing. Include name, hometown and a phone number for verification.

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