John Salley thinks the NBA should permanently change its schedule

Four-time NBA champion John Salley played late into June many times. Salley believes the NBA would benefit by changing their season schedule.

John Salley did not miss the playoffs many times in his career, but in 1993 he did playing on a Miami Heat team that won only 36 games. It was then that he first saw the benefit of summertime NBA basketball.

“I remember I went to Cancun one year, 1993, we missed the playoffs,” Salley recalled. “I went with my brother Jerry and no one is at the beach, you know why? Because everyone was in the hotel lobby watching the playoffs. I said this is what y’all do and they said, yeah, last year we were watching you. I felt so bad. I never forgot that.”

Does that mean that Salley is on board for the NBA to make a permanent schedule change, start the season in December and play even longer into the summer?

“No question. You can barbecue on July 4th, watch a basketball game, and still get out enough time to watch the fireworks.”

Perhaps commissioner Adam Silver is already thinking of ways the NBA could benefit playing on Independence Day which won’t happen in 2020. The season is tentatively set to start July 31st.

If the NBA does indeed resume play, some are questioning if the title should have an asterisk attached to it. The last games played were on March 11 due to the coronavirus, plus there won’t be fans, travel, homecourt advantage at Disney World Orlando. Salley says there shouldn’t be an asterisk and the fun shouldn’t be ruined.

“They didn’t make San Antonio get an asterisk in 1999 (lockout-shortened season),” Salley said. “It is going to be cool watching the NBA in the summertime. What else do you do late at night except sit on the porch and watch cars go by. Now you can sit and watch some NBA players with their body well-tuned, well-rested, and in a warm environment. It’s going to be great.”

While waiting for basketball to return, Salley has also been paying attention to the Black Lives Matter movement and thinking about uncomfortable moments in his career.

“My wife is of mixed blood, half polish, half black, and we got pulled over in Miami out of all places,” Salley remembered. “I’m playing for the Heat, driving a Toyota Land Cruiser and I get pulled over and I said what did I do wrong? The cop says there was a report that one of these cars had been stolen and my wife said why did you pull us over? I didn’t think about it that quick because I was used to being calm around police officers. She picked it up really quick.”

It was not a one time incident in Miami for Salley who believes he ended up getting preferential NBA treatment.

“I remember in Miami also, they pulled me over in a Range Rover and made me walk backwards with my hands up at 3 o’clock in the morning and the same excuse, well, we had a report that one of these cars was stolen. It could have been that, but I also run into being 7-foot tall. Once they let me stand up, I have seen some things change. They ask questions, they look at you different.”

Salley is getting ready to celebrate Father’s Day 2020. He is working with Old Spice, Slickdeals, and Tivo.

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