Skip to main content

"You better ask for a double team, bruh" -- John Salley on the time he was tasked with guarding Larry Bird 1-on-1

One jumper later, Salley realized that Chuck Daly and the Pistons might need to change their defensive approach on Bird
Larry Bird shares a trash talking story involving Larry Bird

Larry Bird trash talked John Salley

"Larry Bird would put fear in me and everyone else," John Salley said when comparing the Celtics legend to Luka Doncic. But that's just skills-wise. When it comes to the art of trash-talking, no one comes close to Larry Legend. Salley himself experienced that firsthand. 

"Y'all not double teaming?"

The two met during a basketball camp in Marshville. But that didn't mean Bird would go easy on him when they matched up in the NBA. And he didn't. 

In fact, the Hall of Famer made sure to give John the complete Larry Bird treatment -- a superstar-worthy move on the court, followed by an all-time great trash-talking performance. And just like anyone else, Salley stood no chance.

"Larry got in the game one time and for some reason Chuck Daly put me in," John said. "I get in and Larry looks around and goes, 'Oh, what's up Sal?' I said, 'Nothing.' He goes, 'You on me?' I said, 'Yeah, I got size on you right now I've been watching every move.' He goes, 'Y'all not double teaming?' I go, 'Nah, it's just me fella.'"

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

He goes, 'Mouse in the house,' and they change the play and he does this (jab step) and he shoots it and says, 'Sal, you better ask for a double team, bruh.'

John Salley, The Rich Eisen Show

Trash-talking genius

Michael Jordan once said, “Larry Bird is the greatest trash talker and mind-game player of all time. He taught me everything I know about getting in folks’ heads.”

Clyde Drexler learned not to engage in a trash-talking war with Bird in his rookie season. 

Gary Payton described the Celtics legend as "the coldest trash-talker in NBA history." Magic Johnson, his biggest rival, said the same thing multiple times.

The point is very few could match Bird's on-court abilities. But when it comes to talking smack, not a single person could do it; not then, not now.

lebron-james-kobe-carmelo-durant-westbrook-harden-usa-2012-min

Kendrick Perkins reveals LeBron, Kobe and Carmelo broke up the OKC Thunder during the 2012 Olympics

The veterans took advantage of the opportunity and eliminated their biggest competition for years to come by getting into Harden's head.

iman-shumpert-kevin-garnett-min

"I smell pus*y Lord!"-Iman Shumpert reveals a crazy Kevin Garnet trash-talking story

"Boy, I dunked that ball the next play and called him all types of bit*h!"-Shumpert took KG's trash talk personal.

Shaq & Kobe go head to head with Magic & Kareem for the title of the greatest Lakers' duo
Play

The battle of the two greatest duos in Lakers' franchise history

Magic & Kareem or Kobe & Shaq -- two greatest duos in LA Lakers' history go head to head in NBA 2k22

Eddy-Curry

Eddy Curry opens up about his time with the New York Knicks — “That was the year I started experiencing knee problems”

If there’s one way to define Eddy Curry’s basketball career, it’s probably “untapped potential"

Lebron James and Michael Jordan on court during halftime during the 2022 NBA All-Star Game

LeBron James’ $45 Lobos tequila defeats Michael Jordan’s Cincoro tequila in the 2022 Spirits tequila competition

This year's Spirits tequila competition was reportedly the largest iteration ever, with almost 5,000 different alcoholic brands participating.

NBA analyst and former player Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal names the only 4 real superstars in the NBA

Steph Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo immediatley came to Shaq's mind. The other two guys, he had to be reminded of. And then the Kawhi Leonard issue came up.

Orlando Magic first overall draft pick Paolo Banchero

Number one overall pick Paolo Banchero reveals his top five NBA players of all time

Many were quick to notice the heavy presence of the Los Angeles Lakers on Banchero’s list, and it immediatley started speculation from Laker Nation.