Over 15 NBA seasons, John Salley won four championships. But forget about his impressive accomplishments as a player. Salley really lived life to the fullest off the court. And he still does. One look at his website and you’ll see Salley has not slowed down since he retired from basketball in 2000.Whether he’s partnering with Vegan Vine Wines or just making the rounds at various parties and awards shows, Salley knows how to have a good time. That becomes very clear when you sit down to talk to him about what life as an NBA star is like. Keep reading to hear the truth about the insane lifestyle of a champion, what he thinks of LeBron James and how he met his wife (there’s an orgy involved).
On Why Covering LeBron James Is Like "The View"
John Salley: What LeBron did last night [in Game 6 against the Boston Celtics: 45 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists] is what you’re supposed to do when you the man. That’s what you do.
[At this point, we ask Salley if LeBron can do it again.]
Salley: He doesn’t need to. Because no matter what he does, everyone says what you just said. And that’s fucked up. Don’t feel bad that you fucked up. But that’s my whole problem with the NBA. It’s the writers in the NBA. Their job is to write negativity. Critics are people who watch the battle and then go down and kill the survivors.
The other day I was watching "The View," and the girl said, “I just want to do a show that’s happy where everyone gets along.” And Joy said, “Then you won’t have a show.”
On Stealing Championship Gear
Salley: In 1988, we’ve got the Lakers beat. But then Isiah [Thomas, the Pistons point guard] breaks his ankle in Game 6. In Game 7, without Isiah, we still think we can beat them. We are competing. Then they start doing some fucked-up shit. Dennis takes a shot he had to take, Laimbeer takes a phantom foul. So we lose and I run off court at full speed. I want to get into the locker room. I don’t want to see anything. As I get in there, they are pulling the plastic down from the lockers and pushing the champagne and the hats and shirts out of the locker room. But I snatched a hat. I own a hat that says World Champions, 1988, Detroit Pistons.
Love in an Elevator
Salley: [After we swept the Lakers in 1989] I get back to the hotel post-game. I’m single. The groupies, who I didn’t want anyone to see me with, took the service elevator with me up to my room. I was on the eighth floor. The elevator kept stopping. Something was wrong with that elevator. It stopped every other floor. Hint, hint. [Ed. note: There was nothing wrong with the elevator. Or the young ladies’ libidos.] After that, I let them to go back down. I’m not bringing them to my room. I don’t know you. I don’t even know you enough for the elevator ride. I send them back down.
Salley: This is when I knew we had it made. We won the championship that summer. It’s September of 1989. I go to the club, and there’s a limousine out front. So they tell me that two of my favorite people are in the limousine; they just hadn’t come in to the club yet. So I’m thinking they’re in the car smoking weed. I’m used to that. So I go and open the door and I see these two guys. And while they’re smoking weed, there’s two girls giving them head.
So I go and sit in that seat and the wall is up to the driver, so these two dudes are sitting there laughing at each other while two girls are giving them head. And smoking weed. And I’m like, “Yo, yo what’s up?” They’re like, “Yo, what’s up young fella?” And I’m like, “Am I down?” And they’re like, “Yo, Salley, you always fucking up a party.”
So they get out of the car. But when the two girls go to get out, the guys go, “No, no, no – he’s the man now. Hook him up.” And I sit back in the seat and these two women proceed to double-team my penis. All because I was a Piston world champion. When you are a world champion, you get your dick sucked in limousines.
Just Don’t Talk About Limousine Perks
Salley: I told somebody all about it. [At this point, Salley excuses himself for a second to take a call from his wife on the other line.] So I got to practice and I start in with the “Man, last night, such and such was in town and he laid it out and I had these two bitches dah dah dah dah.” And the guy doesn’t say anything, but he says something to another dude. Then the other guy asks me to tell him what happened. So I start telling him the story and I had no idea that it was one of my other teammates’ freaks on the side. So the girl calls me and tells me, “You have a big fucking mouth. Besides having a big dick, you have a big fucking mouth, You should put your big dick in your big mouth.” And hung up on me. Wow.
On Male Groupies
Salley: Dudes will come up to me at nightclubs and I say, “Hey, you with a girl?” And they’re like “Yeah.” And I’m like, “Well, then go talk to her.” Then they’re like, “Hey, man, I’m a fan of yours.” Fine. But that’s where I want you to stay. I don’t want you to be a friend. You need more distance.
I was in Trinidad for Carnival. I’m talking to these two girls and this guy literally pushes between them and says right to me, “Yo, dude, I gotta get a hug.” I gave him a hug. And he says, “You can go back to talking to your beautiful women now.” But it wasn’t lame. I really felt the love. Now I know why girls don’t dance slow.
On True Love and Boat Orgies
Salley: I was at a club in Detroit. It’s the same club I met my wife in and I had made her leave. She had just walked in five minutes earlier. She had an attitude problem because some guy had just tried to touch her ass. So I said, “Let me walk you to your car.” She said, “I don’t do night clubs” and I said, “You shouldn’t.” So after I walk her to her car, I put in my wizard that night, “My Future Wife.” And then I went back and there was an orgy on a boat that night.
From Groupie to Stalker
Salley: This little girl thinks I’m her father and we know I’m not. We’ve tested and I’ve proven I’m not. She had a limousine drive on my property and the driver wouldn’t get out. So I had security go and I called the cops. And they were a couple of blocks away. I told them who it was and what the situation was. Cop cars come blaring on my property.
So apparently the limo driver said that Mrs. Salley had called to have Mr. Salley picked up. But there was no Mrs. Salley. Then I found out she was found in my bushes one time. She was not my type. But we finally got it all sorted out with the DNA tests. Now, the article that it was my child was huge, but the article that proved my innocence was tiny. Then, when they asked her why she would do all that, she said, “I just wanted to meet him.” When people see you on TV, they think they own you.
Next: When Sports Go Wrong
Salley: I studied Akido. It’s the art of close combat. I learned how to manipulate your hands. I can grab your thumbs and your fingers. So I would teach Shaq different things to do and he was like, “You dirty.”
I would grab the inside of your arm, where your bicep is, on the left side, closer to your heart. And I would pinch the shit out of you. So you would react once I pinched you by throwing your arm out. So I would know where you were going to hit and I’d jump back like you elbowed me. And the refs would see it and I’d be like, “Yo, that’s some bullshit. You’re lucky I’m not that type of player. Just play the game.” And the refs would be like, “Yeah, just play the game.”