Brooklyn, New York
Position: Power forward/Center.
Number: 22, 16
- 4× NBA champion (1989, 1990, 1996, 2000)
- Third-team All-American – NABC (1986)
- No. 22 retired by Georgia Tech
6 ft 11 in
John Salley was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the first round of the 1986 NBA draft out of Georgia Tech. After joining the Pistons, he became close friends with Adrian Dantley, who taught him proper nutrition, how to exercise, and how to conduct himself off the court. Salley, for his part, called Dantley "The Teacher". Salley would become good friends with comedian Eddie Murphy and made several appearances at comedy clubs in the off-season. In 1989 and 1990, he played on two Pistons NBA championship teams. He is among the Pistons' all-time leaders in blocked shots.
Under the coaching of Chuck Daly, Salley was part of the Pistons era that featured three consecutive NBA finals appearances. The team's defense oriented style of play earned them the nickname of the NBA's "Bad Boys", with Salley playing alongside Dennis Rodman, Bill Laimbeer, James Edwards, Joe Dumars, Isiah Thomas, Rick Mahorn and Dantley. After losing the 1988 NBA Finals in 7 games to the Lakers, the Pistons turned it around to sweep the Lakers in 4 games in 1989. Salley and the Pistons repeated in 1990 defeating the Portland Trail Blazers in 5 games. The Pistons' run came to an end when the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls swept them in 4 games in the 1991 Eastern Conference finals.
Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors
Salley was traded to the Miami Heat in 1992 and, a few years after that, was left unprotected by Miami in the 1995 expansion draft. Following a short stint with the inaugural Toronto Raptors team where he received little playing time, he negotiated a buyout of his contract.
Free of his Raptors contract, Salley signed with the Chicago Bulls, where he played with Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Toni Kukoč, and former Pistons teammates Dennis Rodman and James Edwards. The Bulls of 1995-96 achieved a record-breaking 72-win season, ending with victory in the NBA championship. After the championship, Salley retired. In 1996 Salley came out of retirement to join the Greek team Panathinaikos BC for a few games.
Los Angeles Lakers
In 1999, Salley joined a Lakers team led by Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. He saw little action for the Lakers en route to their first of three consecutive NBA championships from 2000–2002. In 2000 he retired again following the first Lakers championship season after proudly proclaiming that he had won "four championship rings, with three different teams, in three different decades and two different millenniums".
Salley advertising for an electric shaver before a 2008 USC-UCLA game.
John Salley had a role in Bad Boys and Bad Boys II, as a thick-glassed computer hacking nerd who gets out of jail because he helps crack files for the Miami Police Department. In 1996, Salley appeared as a veteran basketball player alongside Whoopi Goldberg in the film Eddie, about a fan who takes over as coach of the New York Knicks.
In the fall of 1998, Salley hosted the game show I Can't Believe You Said That, which aired on the Fox Family Channel. During that time, he also guest-starred as a panelist on Hollywood Squares.
In 2001 he made an appearance in the Luther Vandross music video, "Take You Out".
In 2003, Salley appeared in the Showtime TV film Coast to Coast alongside actress Selma Blair.
In 2004 he was part of the panel of celebrity judges in the TBS Superstation show He's a Lady.
In 2005 he appeared in the television series Noah's Arc as Victor.
In 2006, Salley was named the Commissioner of the American Basketball Association.
In 2007, Salley appeared in the ABC reality television series Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race, featuring a dozen celebrities in a stock car racing competition. In the first round of competition, Salley matched up against professional wrestler John Cena and tennis star Serena Williams. Salley also became the host of the BET show Ballers.
Salley joined the cast of the reality competition show I'm a Celebrity…Get Me out of Here!, which premiered on June 1, 2009. He came in third place with Lou Diamond Phillips winner and Torrie Wilson runner-up. On the show he became friends with Patti Blagojevich who is the wife of Rod Blagojevich.
He also appeared in the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic in 2009 as a member of the shopaholic help group (interestingly playing a retired NBA player), and had a bit role as a pimp in the blaxploitation spoof Black Dynamite.
He was one of the hosts of The Best Damn Sports Show Period on Fox Sports Network. Salley hosted The John Salley Block Party, a radio morning show on Los Angeles station 100.3 The Beat from May 2005 - 2006
Know for making racially disparaging comments while hosting The Best Damn Sports Show Period on Fox Sports Network.
For a short time, Salley provided analysis for NBC's NBA Showtime.
Salley appeared in the Disney Channel original movie, The Ultimate Christmas Present as a tall elf.
Salley hosted a podcast on Adam Carolla's ACE Broadcasting Network with sportswriter Kevin Hench entitled Spider and the Henchman. The show was canceled on March 18, 2011.
Salley has also hosted VH1's Basketball Wives (2010-2012) & Basketball Wives LA (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015) Reunion Specials.
In 2012, he appeared as a celebrity judge on RuPaul's Drag Race (season 4, episode 2).
On an episode of Bravo's Millionaire Matchmaker ("The NFL Kicker and the Workaholic", aired March 12, 2013), he acted as a consultant to Patti Stanger, to help one of her clients (an ex-NFL player) become less of a "playa" and find a woman to settle down with.
He is also ambassador for Operation Smile.