Posted by: Jeremy | October 13, 2010

John Salley saves a spot in his heart for the Raptors


John Salley has a few memories of his days with the Raptors

The fine folks at Deadspin have introduced a genius new weekly column over the past few months entitled “John Salley Story Corner”, in which the former NBA big man and current TV host recalls tales from his 11-year career. Now, as you may or may not recall, Salley was scooped up by the Raptors in the 1995 Expansion Draft and spent 25 games in Toronto before being shipped to Chicago midway through the season, where he played all of 274 minutes (regular and postseason combined) en route to winning the third of his four NBA titles. Before long, you had to figure he’d chip in with a story of his time in the Great White North. The time has arrived, and it’s worth the read. A few excerpts, if clicking the link is too much work:

Upon being wined and dined by the great Isiah Thomas, with B.J. Armstrong along for the ride:

So, we open the door, and Isiah asks B.J. what he thinks. Now, B.J. and Isiah are both from Chicago, got the same tone, and B.J. says: “Thanks, I appreciate it, Zeke, but you gotta get me outta here. I can’t play here.” So he works a deal and gets rid of B.J.

So, Isiah goes to to me, “Hey, Sal, what are you thinking?”

I’m like, B.J. knows something I don’t know. I need to get out of here, too. So I tell him, “Hey, if you can hook it up, I’d love to leave.”

On the collection of players Thomas pulled together:

The team was full of these characters, too. There was Carlos Rogers, Oliver Miller—people forget because of the weight thing, but the Big O could play—and Alvin Robertson. Alvin Robertson was the scariest player I ever played against. He would beat the shit out of anybody.

Lastly, on Robertson, and his alleged antics the night before the Raps’ inaugural game:

Now, Alvin Robertson gets arrested the night before our first game for kicking a naked prostitute out of his hotel room after deciding he didn’t want to pay. He gets bailed out the next day at like 3 in the afternoon and our game is at 7. He goes out and leads the team in scoring and we win the first game. That’s when I knew that season was going to be weird.

So yeah, that’s what Salley has to say about his time in Toronto. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way offended — I find it hilarious. For more fun with Salley, check out his Deadspin archive here.

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