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Sunday, March 11, 2001 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Backtalk

What readers are saying

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Sonics

Walker should be in XFL

Why is everyone in denial regarding what is wrong with the Sonics? Bob Whitsitt left. George Karl left. How are their new teams doing? Who paid Jim McIlvaine a ton of money and got nothing in return? Who paid Vin Baker a ton of money and is getting nothing in return? Who brought in Patrick Ewing, who was a great player but can now barely get up and down the floor?

Answer: Wally Walker.

The Sonics can only get worse with these kinds of player acquisitions. Apparently they aren't going to get any better.

Anyone for XFL football? Better than the Sonics.

Keith Anarde, Lynnwood

Walker makes 'em mediocre

Unfortunately for Sonic fans, the new ownership is really not a clean sweep since Wally Walker not only is staying around but now has part ownership. As long as Walker is in the middle of selecting managing and player talent, fans should not expect more than the present mediocrity.

Win DeForest, Mercer Island

Seahawks

Hasselbeck is new big cheese

I am a Green Bay Packer fan who has watched Matt Hasselbeck develop the past few years. He is poised, mature and talented. He would have been an NFL starter already but for the fact that he plays behind Brett Favre. Around here, there was even talk about trying to trade Favre to acquire players and draft picks, with the confidence that Hasselbeck could handle the job.

You just picked up your starting quarterback for the next decade.

John Reid, Wausau, Wis.

Husky basketball

Some changes needed

At the beginning of the season, I wondered whether Coach Bob Bender would be allowed to have a losing season. It was obvious to me that the Huskies had the weakest talent in the Pac-10, with several of their players better suited for smaller schools. The recruiting in the past few years has been woefully inadequate for Pac-10 competition.

I am sure some of this is due to Bender flirting with other jobs, but some of it appears also to be an inability to judge the talent and heart of the athletes available. With the beautiful remodeled facility, the Huskies ought to be able to recruit better. Washington has plenty of money. Perhaps the Huskies need to hire a new assistant who is a good recruiter and has a better eye for talent than the current staff. I like Coach Bender and hope he can stay, but he needs help in recruiting.

Michael Kelley, Anchorage

Time for Bender to go

I have been a Husky since the early 1950s, when we had that great Bob Houbregs-led team that went to the Final Four. Since then, with the exception of Marv Harshman, we have had a parade of lousy coaches, including our present one. He is a quality person but a bad coach.

So many times in past years after a loss, Bob Bender would say: "I'll take the blame." He didn't have the team prepared to play. He hasn't been able to recruit well, either.

It's time for a change and time for Barbara Hedges to realize it.

Dick Rose, Renton

High-school basketball

Garfield lost fair and square

After I read Coach Wayne Floyd's comments (Seattle Times, March 8) after Garfield's loss to Foss, I feel compelled to comment.

I attended the game as an impartial observer, and I left the Tacoma Dome feeling that I had just seen one heck of a game. I felt that it was extremely well-officiated. Then I saw that Coach Floyd blamed the referees for the loss.

If anything, the Bulldogs lost the game because they were outcoached.

Allan Peach, Seattle

Send us your backtalk

Fax letters to 206-464-3255, or mail to: Backtalk, Seattle Times Sports, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. Or e-mail to: sports@seattletimes.com.

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