Commentary

Salley says he wants to be a team owner in Sprint Cup

Former NBA star and current talk show host John Salley is in the preliminary stages of seeking ownership in the Sprint Cup Series.

Updated: February 17, 2008, 10:12 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Former NBA star and current talk show host John Salley is in the preliminary stages of seeking ownership in the Sprint Cup Series.

Salley, at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday for the "Best Damn Sports Show Period," said he has had discussions with at least one Cup team owner about becoming a financial partner.

"I want to be a team owner," Salley said. "I want to be in this. I would help out with the money end and stand out front with a hat on."

Salley was so impressed with his experience at the Daytona 500 that he would choose it again over the NBA All-Star Game that also was scheduled Sunday.

"I am so far away from the All-Star Game, it's ridiculous," he said. "I've dunked on people. I've done it all. This is the best s--- I've seen in my life."

Salley was particularly impressed with the amount of corporate sponsorship in the sport. When introduced to Ryan Pemberton, the crew chief for David Reutimann, he couldn't help but notice all the sponsors on his shirt.

"That's a lot of pimping here," Salley said.

Salley -- who, as a 6-foot-11 black man, stands out in the garage -- said he's not looking to be a part of NASCAR's diversity program.

"This has nothing to do with diversity," he said. "Diversity is not something I want out of it. I've heard all the jokes about how black guys don't do NASCAR. That's amazing somebody would say that."

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.

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ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter