To the editors:

Ted Cox’s rundown on the NBA finals (June 26) was incisive enough as sports analysis, but he deserves a chiding.

I had always heard that Chicago’s sports teams were losers for years on end not from idealism or fastidiousness but from miserliness: talented players were sold or traded away before they developed high salary demands or eccentricities worth indulging. Did not Michael Jordan himself stick with the Bulls for years at a substandard salary in order to make a championship team and keep it together?

I also doubt that there is any archaeological evidence of a “Neanderthal sense of honor.” Judging from the behavior of modern primates, Neanderthal man most likely had a culture of brutally enforced conformity. Mr. Cox could have written “medieval sense of honor” or “antique sense,” though I think his meaning does a disservice to the concept of honor.

Dennis Rodman may have violated good manners, or a contractual obligation, or some martinet’s sense of “team discipline.” Certainly he has behaved badly, and often. But his performance on the court has been honorable, as was his underwriting the funeral expenses of “that fellow allegedly dragged to death” in Texas. This action was more honorable than Mr. Cox’s casual reference to James Byrd, who was without a doubt dragged to his death. I believe that in correct journalese “alleged” modifies the accused perpetrators, not the act, as in “James Byrd, dragged to his death in Texas, allegedly by three white racists.”

The Reader has editors. Whoever approved Mr. Cox’s prose shares the dishonor.

L.D. Chukman

W. Erie