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© St. Petersburg Times, published February 25, 2001
I have been reading your columns for almost 15 years, since I regularly started reading the newspaper at age 10.
You have a good heart and are almost always exactly on point; clarity of analysis and emotional thrust are qualities of a great sports writer, which you are.
But you are very much off the point on the bay area (not) being able to support an NBA team. We could do it easily. You are worried about oversaturation (of sports franchises). I think that's not necessarily a bad thing.
-- Naresh Nagella, e-mail
I started to look into this NBA thing and made serious calls to some local heavyweights. Most said they are not interested.
Your points are so valid; it would be tough because of the league's image. Fans cannot relate to the current crop of stars.
I e-mailed five teams before the Vancouver news broke, thinking our area can be a player down the road, with growth. But now it would be tough.
You know hoops pump in my heart and I would walk the plank for any motivated effort to pursue a team.
-- Tony Grier, former USF player, Clearwater
We are from Indianapolis and had Pacers season tickets for 15 years, back to when they were so bad you took a book to read. We do not attend football, baseball or hockey games. Don't write us basketball fans off.
-- Cosette Craig, Largo
No way I'd pay 75 cents to see an NBA with so many arrogant egomaniacs who think they are doing us a favor by playing a sport for millions of dollars. Baseball, football and basketball have their problems, but no sport is as large a modern turnoff as the NBA, which will keep losing ground with the American masses.
-- Denise Ford, St. Pete Beach
This is no Indiana. Our neighborhood's attraction to college games at USF, UF, FSU and other places is sporadic at best. If the NBA comes, I can't see four major pro teams making it here. Of course, maybe the failures will come from somewhere other than basketball.
In response to Mailbag letters from Trevor Armstrong and Rocco Rocco, jeez, guys, I can't disagree more totally.
I live in Tampa and buy the Times for the sole sake of Mr. Mizell's objective reporting. He and Gary Shelton both. I'm sorry to see Hubert retire. He's the best in the business. I'd like to know who Trevor and Rocco see as good sports writers.
-- Dick Rivett, Lutz
It stuns me that you allow some nitwit to call you a "moron" in the Mailbag. What are that dope's credentials? Why don't you just burn such messages?
-- Bess Cason, Clearwater
Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing.
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