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: buying beer for two-fifths of the Fab Five and telling God to fuck off.
A listener asks, "Please tell the story about Sal's house that he bought from the Archdiocese in Detroit" — a beautiful, big-ass house in a great neighborhood in the city. "Also," he says, "I would love to hear if Salley played any pickup ball at St. Cecilia in Detroit, or if he ever balled with Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Voshon Lenard, and Howard Eisley when they were in high school."
I'll go backward. I went to St. Cecilia, but I never played. I did buy beer for those guys illegally, though. My brother Michael said, "Yo, we need some beer, John." I said, "No, I don't drink beer." He said, "Naw, naw, naw, it's for my boys. Can you hook me up?" I said, "All right. What do we want?" He said, "Heineken." I said, "OK, what do you want me to do?" He said, "I dunno. Just get me a couple cases."
I bought a couple of cases, and what happened? I had all these young guys drinking the beer. So I was partly responsible for Jalen Rose and Chris Webber going to that crackhouse in Michigan. (Nah, I'm just bullshitting.)
And now, the house: I bought this house in the middle of Detroit. The first time I drove by it, it looked like a school — 40 thousand square feet in the Palmer Woods district with all these wonderful houses. I drive by it and go, Man, look at that. Next thing I know, word gets to us that it's for sale, and that if we're interested, we have to go visit the archdiocese and all that. I don't know what "archdiocese" even means. My brother makes me put on a suit, and we go downtown, and we walk into the archdiocese, and I'm realizing, Oh, this is a Catholic joint. So we're in there. The guy's sitting there talking about the house, and he goes:
"$1 million dollars."
And I jump up.
"Get the fuck outta here. Who's gonna pay a million dollars to live in Detroit?"
And my brother looks at me — I swear to God it felt like he hit me, and no one saw him do it. It felt like he hit me hard. He says, "You should leave the room." So I leave the room, and I get the house for $500,000, which is $300,000 less than it would've cost to live in the suburbs." [Ed. note: At which point the Henchman adds: "And that house is worth $11 today."]