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Sunday, March 18, 2001 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Backtalk

What readers are saying

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UW MEN'S HOOPS

Husky win over UCLA was a Kodak moment

I had the privilege of attending the Huskies' 96-94 victory over UCLA. More than any sporting event I have attended in years, this game epitomized the essence of athletics.

Simply stated, the players were playing not for a conference championship, a seed in the tournament or a shot at the pros, but for the sake of the game itself. Five seniors - Michael Johnson, Will Perkins, Bryan Brown, Greg Clark and Thalo Green - showed why kids should play sports. They showed that no matter how many games one wins or loses, there's always the opportunity for pure enjoyment.

Matt Norling, Yakima

SONICS

Ewing? No, blame Vin

I think it is unfair how much blame Patrick Ewing has taken this year for the Sonics and how little Vin Baker has taken. Everybody is pointing their fingers at Ewing when the real problem is Baker.

Ewing hustles the floor the best that he can and he is a solid defensive rebounder. All Baker brings is a fat contract and a fat you-know-what. He doesn't rebound and he doesn't score. He shoots a terrible percentage from the floor and he is a turnover machine. With Baker's contract and him on the team, the Sonics will be nothing better than what they are now.

Jason Jenks, North Bend

No, blame Wally for team's troubles

It's about time that someone speaks up and lays the blame for the Sonics' troubles where they belong - on management. I applaud George Karl for telling it how it is with the Sonics.

People point at Vin Baker for not stepping up and Gary Payton for not sharing with teammates. But perhaps we should look at who signed the inconsistent Baker to that ridiculous extension, who is not providing much support on the court for Payton, and who fired the Sonics' winningest coach after he finished off another 60-win season.

Wally Walker has done nothing but take this team from being a powerhouse in the '90s to mediocrity and discontent now.

Mark Francom, Salt Lake City

HIGH SCHOOLS

Floyd good role model for Garfield

Garfield is very fortunate to have Wayne Floyd as coach and athletic director. No teacher at our school serves as a better role model for the students. He is a very knowledgeable coach and his practices are always well prepared and disciplined.

I have never heard him use profanity and he has always treated his assistants and myself with dignity and respect.

Frank Ahern, assistant coach, Garfield High School

Send us your backtalk

Letters bearing true names, addresses and telephone numbers for verification are considered for publication. Please limit letters to 125 words or less. They are subject to editing and become the property of The Times.

Fax them 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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