For the Boston Celtics and their fans, John Sally was the enemy. If he had his wish, things wouldn’t have been this way.
Sally, an 11-year-old NBA veteran who was selected in the 1986 NBA Draft, played for several Boston competitors, including the Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers. His choice was to fit in with the Celtics, the team he grew up for. On Byron Scott off shuffle Last week, Sally gave three reasons why he grew up cheering for the Celtics.
John Sally finished 11th overall in the 1986 NBA Draft
Sally’s chances of getting his desire to play for Boston weren’t good. The 6-foot-10 center had a solid career at Georgia Tech, but Boston was the second pick in the 1986 NBA Draft. Unless the Celtics were traded, they were taking either Brad Dougherty of North Carolina or Lane aligned from Maryland.
After the Cleveland Cavaliers picked my daughter first, the Celtics stayed second and took the bias. Bias has often been compared to Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan. He was never able to show off his skills at the NBA level as he died of a cocaine overdose, two said after hearing the Celtics call his name.
Sally and Bias were good friends.
“Every time he got the ball, you knew he was going to score,” Sally said of the bias during his appearance on Rich Eisen Show in late June. It was a beast. He was literally saving the Celtics. When he was recruited, I was jealous. I wasn’t jealous, but I was angry because I still had to sit there. I like, I haven’t had a good visit in any of these other teams.”
Sally thought the bulls would take him for ninth.
“Chicago told me they were going to catch me number nine,” Sally told Scott. off shuffle podcast last week. “They took Brad Sellers. Jerry Krause said he had a better shot in the jump.”
Sally went twice later when the Pistons drafted him at No. 11. He played 11 seasons in the NBA, winning four championships.
Sally gave three reasons why he loved the Celtics growing up
Sally played with the Pistons from 1986 to 1992. He was part of the Bad Boys years that included Bill Laimbere, Rick Mahorn, and Dennis Rodman. Detroit and Boston had some epic battles in the ’80s.
During his interview with Scott, the former Lakers guard was surprised by the fact that he grew up rooting for the Celtics.
“I always thought I was going to be a bull,” Sally said. “I wanted to be Celtic, and I grew up being a Celtic fan.
“I grew out of Celtics fans because they were the first team to hire a black coach,” Sally said of Boston’s signing of Bill Russell in the late 1960s. “And they won a lot. They won a lot. I love winners.”
In addition to hiring the first black coach and winning a lot, Sally added a third reason why he loves the Celtics.
“The green and white pumas look really good,” he said. “Adidas in green and white, Nikes in green and white, anything green and white looks good.”
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