Keith Langlois talked to John Salley about playing for Chuck Daly and Phil Jackson, and Salley told two fantastic stories about his first NBA training camp.
“Chuck had this thing called a five-lap mile,” Salley smiled. “I used to be a runner. We had to run and the guards would take off and then the big men would take off. Back in the day, guys would come to training camp to get in shape. Not like now – you’d better come to camp in shape.
“So the guards take off and I start stretching my legs and I hear, ‘Young fella, pace yourself.’ Joe (Dumars) and Isiah (Thomas) take off and I’m right behind them. They turn around and look at each other and they take off faster, so I pick up faster. The last lap, it was me, Joe and Isiah – you would have thought it was the Olympics. Dennis had asthma, so he conked out in lap three. Bill Laimbeer was red – not from being angry. I think the beer was coming out of him at that point.
And the second (the use of parentheses might make it even funnier):
“OK, now it’s the next day. Rick Mahorn and Sid Green have a little fight. I don’t know why, but I stand between them and said, ‘C’mon, we’re teammates, man. Let’s get along.’ And Sid punched me in the jaw and Rick kicked me in the leg and they both stood over me and said, ‘Rookie, don’t you ever get in a grown man’s (business).’
“I’m sitting down, looking at the ground, and Chuck’s got his arms crossed and nobody’s helping me. I was like, ‘Are you serious?’ I’m bleeding, I’m on the floor and I’m thinking, ‘This is different (stuff). One, I realized don’t ever show up the vets – ever! Two, stay out of grown folks’ (business).”
Salley has great insights on Daly and Jackson, so be sure to read Langlois’ entire piece for those.