Every week, John Salley, onetime Bad Boy and currently the arachnoid half of the Spider and the Henchman podcast, will regale us with an amusing and occasionally salacious story from his playing days. Today: getting solicited for gambling tips by various mafiosi.
We were in Boston. I'm not going to tell you the year (OK, 1989). We go to our hotel, and this guy who's always a cool cat, always around us, always around the hotel, wants to take me out to dinner. To an Italian restaurant in Boston.
So we go, and it's this old-style Italian restaurant, and I'm like: "This is great. I know exactly how I'm going to order." Maybe I'll even order in Italian.
He goes, "Yo, we're going in the V.I.P. booth."
We go in the back, and I swear there are four wise guys sitting there, like a movie.
So I'm sitting there, and all the food is coming out, and there's a guy watching the door, and I'm looking side to side, like, "Motherfucker, where you got me into? I used to run from Italians in Canarsie. What are you doing?"
And the guy says: "No, no, no. They just want to ask you some questions."
So one of them goes, "Is Isiah's ankle still that bad?"
I don't say anything. And another one of them goes: "James Edwards not playing tonight, tomorrow night? What happened?"
So I go, "Where's the bathroom?" "Why?" they say. "Where are you going?"
"I need to go to the bathroom," I say. "I'm holding it here." They're like, "No, just answer the questions."
I say, "After I go to the bathroom," and I get up to go.
I ask this dude who invited me to dinner to come to the door, and I smack this motherfucker in the head. "Did you really just bring me in here?"
"One, I had to tell them I know you," guy says "and two, they're really simple questions."
I leave and go home. If I answer those two simple questions, we're not talking about winning championships. We're talking about something else entirely.