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John Salley: Spider, NBA Champion, Vegetarian

Written by PETA | June 26, 2008

Quick—who was the first NBA player to win championships with three different teams? If you said John Salley, then … you read the title of this post. Bravo. But you know what else John Salley is? … right. A vegetarian. That was in the title too. You know, you really could help me sell this bit a little. Anyway …

John Salley—who earned his nickname, “The Spider,” from his long-limbed defensive prowess—is the latest celebrity to star in PETA’s vegetarian testimonial series. Today, the PSA will be launched at the John Muir Middle School in Los Angeles, California, where John is giving a talk to hundreds of students about his vegetarian lifestyle and PETA is providing free veggie burgers for one and all. Turtle Mountain also provided the school with 500 soy ice cream sandwiches for the event! Check out the PSA below:

When we filmed the ad a while back, I got the chance to sit down with John and pick his brain a bit. We got the important stuff out of the way when he told me that he grew up a Celtics fan—I always knew I liked the guy. He first went veg in 1991, after his fifth year in the league (he was a Detroit Piston at the time, but please don’t hold that against him). John says that after making the switch, he lost 10 pounds and was still stronger than anyone else on the team (Laimbeer, I’m looking at you). From there, he went on to win powered-by-tofu NBA championships with the Bulls in ’96 and with the Lakers in ’00, adding those rings to the two he already won with the effing Pistons. Check out the full Q&A below:

Seventeen years later, John’s still going strong, hosting The Best Damn Sports Show Period on FOX, pursuing an acting career, and oh yeah, helping to save animals with PETA. So the next time someone asks you, “Aren’t vegetarians worried about not having enough vitamin Q?” or whatever, just say, “Actually, we’re more worried about not having enough fingers for all our RINGS, yo!”

Here are some photos from the launch event:

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Posted by Dan Shannon

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  • Maya, CVT says:

    Dr. Breen just my two cents that’s probably because it’s unusual for anyone to be a vegetarian we’re in the minority. Add that to the fact that African Americans are a minority in this country and you can see that it’s not really to do with race.

  • Saucy says:

    Boy I sure hope John Salley gets a sit down with our next President. It’s disturbs me deeply when I here our candidates promoting hot dogs and hamburgers on national television. How about Hey kids go grab a veggie dog or a veggie burger a fruit plate. Dear God if they only knew what they were asking those kids to do to take in the blood the fear the misery the abomination into their bodies. That’s where Hillary lost me in North Carolina on David Letterman talking about bacon frying in a pan on the top ten list. Very Naive! Guess that leaves Dennis Kucinich the only vegan member of Congress and from now on those are the only people I am voting for and anyone who will put the brakes on the National Institute of Health’s funding million dollar torture chambers. Anyone thanks John for being there. I can brag about you to the guys at the office who thanks to the “propaganda” of the meat industry think that eating meat is the way to stay strong. God Bless!

  • Gerry says:

    It is noteworthy to add that NBA vegetarians Salley and Robert Parish had alot more longevity than their NBA championship teammates. Going vegan adds years to an athletes career barring serious injury that is. This is so true even with the runner Carl Lewis who retained his speed into his midthirties.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Love the quote “You’re either hot or cold you can’t be lukewarm.” Great PSA and love his sense of humourand he played for the Raptors once boo yeah! Thanks John.

  • kelly says:

    He looks fantastic and his heart does too I bet! So many athletes suffer from heart disease early in life because of their terrible meat diets. It is a shame to see people destroy their bodies because of propaganda from the meat industry.

  • Carla says:

    I’m a huge fan of John Salley’s especially when he played for the Lakers!! Enough fingers lol!!

  • joel says:

    spider he is our hero

  • Antoinette says:

    great videos

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