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“My Mother May Be Watching”: Michael Jordan’s Poster Dunk on John Salley Once Had the Latter Reminiscing

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

"My Mother May Be Watching": Michael Jordan's Poster Dunk on John Salley Once Had the Latter Reminiscing

Michael Jordan was the primary source of frustration for most, if not all NBA players in the 1990s. But his rival-turned-teammate John Salley was among the handful of those who enjoyed plenty of success against the Chicago Bulls icon early on in his career. However, Jordan still managed to embarrass Salley on a few occasions by putting him on a poster.

The veteran forward, who played for the Detroit Pistons from 1986 to 1992, enjoyed three playoff series wins against the six-time NBA Champion. However, he did everything to avoid getting dunked on by MJ on national television.

The former Pistons star always tried to pacify Jordan after confrontations, so that the latter doesn’t take out his anger on him by dunking on him. During an appearance on Byron Scott’s Podcast, the retired star said,

[I told Michael Jordan] I don’t want to be part of your highlight reel, so if I hit you, it was ‘You good, you good?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘Foul on me. You are not dunking on me on television.’ My mother may be watching.”

However, Salley still couldn’t avoid getting posterized by MJ. “[But] Michael Jordan got me. And I try to hurry up and take the ball out [after the dunk]. Man, I got back to [my] neighborhood and they go, ‘Michael got the Spider,‘” he added.

The dunk Salley’s referring to was in Game 7 of the 1990 Eastern Conference Finals. Jordan easily beat Vinnie Johnson with a spin move before leaping higher than John Salley and finishing with authority.

The Bulls superstar may have gotten the better of Salley, but the Pistons star got the last laugh, as Detroit beat Chicago and eliminated them from the playoffs.

However, Salley and Jordan would later end up becoming teammates.

John Salley and Michael Jordan buried the hatchet after joining forces

In 1996, John Salley was in the twilight years of his career and was deemed not good enough by the Toronto Raptors. The veteran surprisingly did not look for a new permanent home and instead signed a 10-day deal with the Chicago Bulls. He impressed the franchise enough to land a contract that ran until the end of the season.

Salley and Jordan did not see eye-to-eye due to the animosity that dated back to the late 1980s, when the former played for the Pistons. However, the duo kept their differences aside and were united in their goal of winning the NBA title.

The Bulls, who were having a sensational campaign before Salley arrived, continued on their merry ways and finished the regular season with a 72-10 record. They breezed past the competition to win their fourth NBA title in six seasons, giving the forward the perfect send-off. He returned to the NBA in 1999, signing a one-year deal with the Lakers.

Post Edited By:Satagni Sikder

About the author

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar


Jay Lokegaonkar is a basketball journalist who has been following the sports as a fan 2005. He has worked in a slew of roles covering the NBA, including writer, editor, content manager, social media manager, and head of content since 2018. However, his primary passion is writing about the NBA. Especially throwback stories about the league's iconic players and franchises. Revisiting incredible tales and bringing scarcely believable stories to readers are one his main interests as a writer.

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