Chat with Rick Telander

Welcome to The Show! On Tuesday, blogger Rick Telander will stop by to chat. He covers all sports at his other job, a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, however, his blog covers hoops at

Thirty-three years ago Rick Telander first visited the basketball playgrounds of New York City to write a story on the roots of street ball for Sports Illustrated. A year later he returned to spend the entire summer in Brooklyn, playing hoops, coaching a team of misfits named the Subway Stars and chronicling the lives of playground characters such as Sgt. Rock, Doodie, Pontiac Carr, as well as inner-city legends such as Herman the Helicopter, Earl "The Goat" Mannigault, and Fly Williams.

In 1976 his book about that summer, "Heaven Is a Playground," was released. Slowly, word spread among hoops freaks that here was something unusual, an author and a subject perfectly matched. Books passed hand to hand. In 2001 Sports Illustrated named "Heaven" one of the best 100 sports books of all time. In June 2006, Playboy Magazine declared it one of the "Ten Best Sports Books -- Ever."

Telander, now a sports columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, has never lost his love for the great game of basketball. His knees may be in trouble, but this blog is his continuing salute to the sport James Naismith invented in a fit of genius in 1891.

If it's about hoops -- stories, humor, lore, news, philosophy, photos, interviews, parody, smackdowns, facials -- you'll find it here, at ESPN's "Heaven Is a Playground," by Rick Telander and his Heaven Boyz contributors/posse.

Send in your questions now and join Rick in The Show on Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET!


  • Check out Telander's past columns with the Chicago Sun-Times.
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