John Johnson (1947 - 2016)
By: Legacy Staff
2 years ago
John Johnson, a two-time NBA All-Star forward, has died, according to The Associated Press. He was 68.
Johnson died Jan. 8 at his home in San Jose, California. The cause of death was unknown, according to statements made by the family.
Johnson was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1970 and immediately made an impact on the new expansion team, making the NBA All-Star team in 1971 and 1972.
He played for the Portland Trailblazers and Houston Rockets before landing in Seattle, Washington, where he became an essential part of the SuperSonics team that won the NBA Finals in 1979.
Although he achieved his greatest personal stats early in his career, it was his experience and unselfish approach to the game that helped make Seattle a champion in later years.
"I knew JJ had a great understanding of the game, and so, after he'd rebound, I'd tell our guards, just take off, and he'll find you," recalled his Seattle head coach, Lenny Wilkens.
Johnson began his basketball career in his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, playing for Messmer High School and leading them to a state title in 1966, his senior year. He then went on to the University of Iowa where he set a record for points in a season during his senior year.
After retiring from basketball in 1982, he continued to live in the Seattle area until he moved to San Jose to be closer to his son, who was playing basketball at Stanford University.
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