#220: Russ Bengtson


Manage episode 229556303 series 2494533
By Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio streamed directly from their servers.
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal we welcome NBA/sneaker/hip-hop writer, editor, commentator and confidant Russ Bengtson to the Upper West Side! Russ talks growing up in Long Island, his early interest in journalism, being a Chicago Bulls fan in New York, attending the University of Delaware, his classmate and fellow journalist Jeff Pearlman, and his first job out of college working for a tiny newspaper in rural Pennsylvania where he was hands-on in every aspect of the publication. We discuss how SLAM Magazine reached out to him, what exactly "Senior Editor" meant, his early dealings with Clyde Drexler, Scottie Pippin and Charles Barkley, JR Rider being cut from the Hawks before an interview, Kobe Bryant's respecting SLAM over other publications, Allen Iverson's magnetism, Stephon Marbury's unbelievable heart and talent, connecting Kevin Garnett and Jonathan Mannion for a legendary photo shoot, and the good and bad realities of choosing a magazine cover months ahead of time. Russ gets into his time as Editor in Chief of SLAM, his great partner in crime Lang Whitaker, in what ways Shaq and Nigel Sylvester are similar, Patrick Ewing not acknowledging him for two years, SLAM's reputation according to beat writers as opposed to enthusiasts, and why his time at the publication came to an end. We cover his freelance days, his introduction to Complex, the early days of Twitter, how page views and traffic changed the way writing worked, where Quickstrike - his sneaker show with Clark Kent - succeeded and where it missed opportunities, and his new documentary with Complex, Sole Origins. All that, plus stories about Pig Miller, Rasheed Wallace, Mobb Deep, Gregg Popovich, getting robbed on his apartment's front steps, University of Delaware's short time in the NCAA tourney, his Twitter block list, his love of heavy metal and much more!

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