All That Jazz
•SATURDAY, LAKERS AT JAZZ, NBC, 8:30 PM; TUESDAY, SPURS AT JAZZ, TNT, 8 PM; FRIDAY, TRAIL BLAZERS AT JAZZ, TNT, 10:30 PM
The U.S. Postal Service recently bumped up the price of a first-class stamp by a penny to 33 cents, but Utah's Mailman remains 32 (his uniform number, that is). He still delivers, too. On April 6, while being covered by Dennis Rodman, Karl Malone went 12 for 12 from the field as the Jazz dispatched the Lakers 106-93 in L.A. This week Home Malone and Co. host their top Western Conference foes. Watch as the Mailman tries to stamp a trio of power forwards: Rodman (guarding Malone, right), San Antonio's wunderkind Tim Duncan and Portland's Brian Grant, who is enjoying a career year rebounding (10.4 average at week's end).
•SATURDAY ESPN NOON, ESPN2 7 PM; SUNDAY ESPN 11 AM, ESPN2 1 PM
We can already hear Ricky Williams doing a Ricky Ricardo impression for those teams who pass on him: "You got some 'splainin' to do!" The Heisman Trophy winner caused doubts by showing up at the NFL's February scouting combine 22 pounds overweight and then replacing his agent with rapper-turned-rep Master P. Since, Williams has since lost the fat, if not the phat. Competing against a bumper crop of quarterbacks and defensive studs (page 40), the college game's all-time rushing leader may not crack the top three picks.
Vietnam, Long Time Coming
•NBC 4 PM
Last year a team of U.S. and Vietnamese war veterans, many of them disabled, undertook a 1,200-mile bicycle ride from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. This award-winning two-hour documentary (coproduced by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED TELEVISION and the makers of Hoop Dreams) exposes traumas that may never heal. Emotionally grueling though it is, the film succeeds in showing that a sporting event literally can be, in the words of one participant, "a road to reconciliation."
Red Wings at Blackhawks
•ESPN 7:30 PM
Adios, Chelios! Since New Year's the Windy City has bid adieu to icons Jordan, Pippen, Gene Siskel, Dr. Ross and now native son Chris Chelios. After nine seasons with the Blackhawks, the past four as their popular captain, Chelios, 37, was traded on March 23 to bitter rival Detroit Armed with the feisty, fisty three-time Norris Trophy winner, as well as same-day acquisitions left wing Wendel Clark, goalie Bill Ranford and defense-man Ulf Samuelsson, the two-time defending Stanley Cup champs went on an eight-game winning streak. With the playoffs starting on Wednesday (ESPN2, 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.), the Red Wings are favored to three-peat. Remember that term, United Center denizens?
•ESPN2 11:55 AM
Did the rock band Boston use its music to inspire marathoners? The group's album entitled Don't Look Back included songs with the lyrics "The road is callin'/Today is the day" and "Yes, it's over, I can see the end." Coincidence? We think not. This year's 103rd running marks the marathon debut of New England's own Lynn Jennings, the U.S. women's record holder at 10K and a three-time world cross-country champ. At 38, Jennings is at long last tackling Boston's Heartbreak Hill. Why? We have more than a feeling that she's looking for peace of mind.
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. SOURCE: NIELSEN SPORTS MARKETING SERVICE.