THE LIVE ALBOM
* Johnny came marching home Thursday morning — John Salley, that is. A few choice thoughts from his morning repertoire at the Palace:
* Q: John, how do you like Miami?
* Salley: Great. I’m learning Spanish and Yiddish.
* Q: What will you do first in tonight’s game?
* Salley: Kiss Isiah on the forehead — NOT!
* Q: John, where are you living?
* Salley: This place called Star Island. Big houses, man. Vanilla Ice lives two doors down. He drove by my house last week and rolled down the window. He said, “Cut your lawn, man!”
* Speaking of the Miami Heat, is it just me, or does Glen Rice have a Muhammad Ali thing going? Glen is . . . . . . the Greatest?
* It occurred to me, when I went to see Salley, that the media may spend more time this year welcoming former Pistons back than covering the current team.
* There’s Chuck Daly Returns Night, Rick Mahorn Returns Night, James Edwards Returns Night, who knows, maybe Dennis Rodman Returns Night, too.
* The Pistons, suddenly hungry for ticket sales, should sell these games under “The Nostalgia Package. Good seats — plus a Kodak Instamatic.”
* Eric Kramer may see serious football action this weekend, which could put a crimp in his hockey game. Kramer, of course, plays for the Red Wings under his alter ego, Martin Lapointe.
* So I see where Jack Morris was left unprotected in the expansion draft. Does this mean he starts the World Series next year for the Colorado Rockies?
* It took them long enough, but the NCAA finally looked at the Michigan situation and said, “Uh, you know, this is really no big deal.”
* Let’s see if I got this straight: UNLV is still suffering the penalties of former coach Jerry Tarkanian trying to sign former crack house attendee Lloyd Daniels. And while the Rebels pay the price, Tarkanian and Daniels are together, and getting paid megabucks by the San Antonio Spurs?
* That’s basketball justice.
* When the Lions visit the Steelers this weekend, they won’t see Chuck Noll on the sidelines. Noll finally admitted coaching and doing movies under his stage name, Jack Lemmon, was just too much.
* The more Magic Johnson blabs on and on about his sexual adventures, the less sorry I feel for him and the more sorry I feel for his wife.
* Holyfield by decision. There. I said it.
* It was 100 years ago this week that man first took paycheck for playing football. His name was Pudge Heffelfinger. He was offered $250 — but held out for $500. And he got it.
* A tradition was born.
* You gotta hand it to Phil Esposito and the show he’s got in Tampa. Of course, Phil is no stranger to show biz, after years as Al Pacino’s stunt double.
Mitch Albom will sign copies of his new book, “Live Albom III, Gone to the Dogs,” at 7 tonight at B. Dalton, Summit Place, Pontiac; at 1 p.m. Saturday at Walden Books, John R, Madison Heights; and 4 p.m. Saturday, B. Dalton, Lakeside Mall.