John Salley on Bulls vs Pistons Rivalry: We Put Jordan on His Back (Part 4)

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In this clip, John Salley discussed his time in Detroit playing for the infamous Pistons “Bad Boys” team of the 1980s. Salley talked about how the Pistons style of play was regarded as dirty by many fans but that legends of the game often praised him and his team for playing the game “the right way.” Salley also talked about his relationship with Michael Jordan which stems back to their college days when Salley was at Georgia Tech, and Mike was at UNC and how their on-court rivalry in the NBA would become one of the most highly contested in league history. Salley admits that his squad understood the NBA saw Michael Jordan as the future but that the Pistons continuously put him on his back come playoff time.

John Salley went on to talk about his move to the Miami Heat during the 1992 season and how he ran into some financial troubles. Salley also talked about starting a record label during this time and how his first signing was the legendary underground Detroit group, Slum Village. He spoke about his subsequent move to Toronto in the expansion draft and how he eventually would pay the team $750K to be released from his contract to pursue a career in television. To Salley, that $750K was the price he paid in order to become a “freed slave.”