John Salley and Mike Tyson both grew up in Brooklyn, NYC, and have been friends for a long time. In the early days of John’s professional basketball career, he organized “John Salley Day” in his project; an event focused on helping his inner-city community.
The same event that had the infamous Iron Mike pop out to support. Not because he was a basketball fan, but because he appreciated the friendship he and Salley shared.
In a recent interview with Vlad TV, John recalled a story of the time he was playing for the Detroit Pistons. A story that truly described the aura Mike Tyson had during his prime fighting days. An aura he upholds to this day as well.
“He saw me on TV because he didn’t really watch basketball or anything, but he saw we were playing against the Knicks. So he got in his car and came to the Garden, and when he pulled up, he’s Mike Tyson, there are no tickets. He walked in and came right behind the bench like: ‘Sal, Sal.’ And I was like: ‘What’s up money?’ [Keep in mind] the game is going on, it’s like a Sunday afternoon game, and I’m like this [turned away from the action, talking to Mike]. And everybody, Adrian Dantley, Bill Laimbeer is not saying anything. Chuck Daly is just staring at him. Isiah Thomas is like with his mouth wide open. And no one is like: ‘Sal! Get your head in the game.’ Nobody!”John Salley, Vlad TV
According to Salley, the Pistons ended up losing the game, and that is when the most unexpected thing happened. After their loss, Tyson walked into the locker room and had the infamous ‘Bad Boys’ absolutely shook.
“He comes in the locker room, [suddenly] no one knows what to say. He goes and says: ‘Hey fellas, what’s up.’ And I’m like: ‘Hey Mike! None of these cats think I know you.’ And he goes: ‘Nah, that’s my man, we go way back, we grew up together.’ And they were just staring at him.”John Salley, Vlad TV
John finished the story explaining that at the time, he didn’t know any better than to boats about his friendship with Mike to his teammates, saying stuff like, “Yeah! I told y’all I knew the champ!”
But can you really blame him? I think it’s safe to say that everyone would be tempted to boast about their friendship with the world’s scariest man.