My FanHouse colleague Ariel Helwani caught up with John Salley recently, chatting about his upcoming debut in reality TV (alluded to here), the secrets to a happy marriage and, of course, why the NBA is getting so soft:
So, why has the league changed so much?
I think the whole society has just gone soft. I don't think it's just the NBA. Think about this, dude: we sit around and cry about everything. It used to be, 'Yo, man, don't cry. Toughen up' ... You can't even say at work that a girl is beautiful. That's sexual harassment. That's bull sh*t. I just think that whole mentality is really some bull sh*t. I'm not bull sh*tting you. I just think that whole toughness is gone.
How were the "Bad Boys" able to get away with so much?
Just to let you know: more than 20 different NBA rules have changed because of the "Bad Boys." Remember Dennis Rodman in 1991? Scottie [Pippen] was going to the basket, and you used to be allowed to hit the guy as hard as you can so he couldn't make the basket. Now, maybe it wasn't a smart foul -- I don't think anyone went out to cut somebody under their legs – but if you hit him hard, you said, 'Make it on the foul line. You want to come in the lane? Make it on the foul line.' Nowadays, you foul somebody, next thing you know they're close to telling you, 'Hey, man, I think this guy just pressed charges.' I mean, it's a joke.
What's your personal favorite rough and tough "Bad Boys" moment?
(Laughs) I didn't do anything dirty. I'm a clean player (laughs). I never did anything; it wasn't me; I wasn't there; I don't know what you are talking about (laughs).
It's a pretty long interview -- if you're a fan of Spider, I suggest you check it out.