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Career Retrospective- Dennis Johnson
Career Retrospective- Dennis Johnson
Published: 2007/02/25
Channel: CbobbyB
Dennis Johnson
Dennis Johnson's Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Speech
Published: 2012/02/17
Channel: OfficialHoophall
Dennis Johnson to Larry Bird Tribute - Basketball Chemistry (The Secret Play)
Dennis Johnson to Larry Bird Tribute - Basketball Chemistry (The Secret Play)
Published: 2015/10/06
Channel: The Book of Basketball
Dennis Johnsen  - Amazing Skills, Goals, Assists, Dribbling -SC Heereveen | 2017
Dennis Johnsen - Amazing Skills, Goals, Assists, Dribbling -SC Heereveen | 2017
Published: 2017/08/11
Channel: Fozaline
Dennis Johnson (Sonics) (19pts/3blks) vs. Suns (1979)
Dennis Johnson (Sonics) (19pts/3blks) vs. Suns (1979)
Published: 2017/03/17
Channel: LamarMatic
Michael Jordan Amazing Dunk Over Dennis Johnson!
Michael Jordan Amazing Dunk Over Dennis Johnson! ''U Getting Old Dennis!''
Published: 2017/09/15
Channel: YouuToobe
Dennis "DJ" Johnson Career Highlights
Dennis "DJ" Johnson Career Highlights
Published: 2010/08/29
Channel: MerkinMuffly
Dennis Johnson (25pts/6stls) vs. Clippers (1984)
Dennis Johnson (25pts/6stls) vs. Clippers (1984)
Published: 2016/08/28
Channel: LamarMatic
Amazingly intelligent play by Dennis Johnson and Larry Bird
Amazingly intelligent play by Dennis Johnson and Larry Bird
Published: 2009/05/12
Channel: Jean-Sebastien Blondel
Dennis Johnson (21-4-5) 1979 Finals Gm 5 vs. Bullets - DJ
Dennis Johnson (21-4-5) 1979 Finals Gm 5 vs. Bullets - DJ's Redemption, Seattle's 1st NBA Title
Published: 2016/11/04
Channel: The NBA Showtime
Dennis Johnson - DJ
Dennis Johnson - DJ
Published: 2016/09/20
Channel: Veoshock !
LSU outside linebackers getting work with OLB coach Dennis Johnson
LSU outside linebackers getting work with OLB coach Dennis Johnson
Published: 2017/09/11
Channel: LSU Tigers on NOLA.com
1985: Clutch Dennis Johnson
1985: Clutch Dennis Johnson
Published: 2011/07/11
Channel: NBA
Dennis "D.J." Johnson, In Memory a Player of the Celtics and Sonics
Dennis "D.J." Johnson, In Memory a Player of the Celtics and Sonics
Published: 2011/10/14
Channel: toneflinski
Legends of Pepperdine - Dennis Johnson
Legends of Pepperdine - Dennis Johnson
Published: 2011/07/08
Channel: Thecoachdub
Dennis Johnson interview during Celtics game as a Seattle Supersonic
Dennis Johnson interview during Celtics game as a Seattle Supersonic
Published: 2011/03/29
Channel: DoYouBleedGreen
Dennis Johnson Tribute Video (from "Local Legends")
Dennis Johnson Tribute Video (from "Local Legends")
Published: 2007/02/23
Channel: All Music Television
Dennis Johnson Tribute
Dennis Johnson Tribute
Published: 2007/03/04
Channel: patt9221
Charles Oakley vs Dennis Johnson! 01.02.1987
Charles Oakley vs Dennis Johnson! 01.02.1987
Published: 2017/08/18
Channel: Hoops Madness
Dennis Johnson (20pts) vs. Bucks (1980 Playoffs)
Dennis Johnson (20pts) vs. Bucks (1980 Playoffs)
Published: 2015/07/22
Channel: LamarMatic
Dennis Johnson 1979 NBA Finals Game 5
Dennis Johnson 1979 NBA Finals Game 5
Published: 2013/07/13
Channel: lolwuttermelons
Dennis Johnson: Career Mixtape
Dennis Johnson: Career Mixtape
Published: 2017/09/11
Channel: TheCrunchySopa
Dennis Johnson\
Dennis Johnson\'s Wife
Published: 2010/04/06
Channel: MRBTshow
Dennis (DJ) Johnson - "Can
Dennis (DJ) Johnson - "Can't Be Tackled" - Best Plays at Arkansas
Published: 2015/06/09
Channel: Highlight Creator
My Favorite NBA Moment: Bird
My Favorite NBA Moment: Bird's Steal and Johnson's Layup
Published: 2012/05/26
Channel: East312Productions
Dennis "DJ" Johnson- Hall of Famer (HQ)
Dennis "DJ" Johnson- Hall of Famer (HQ)
Published: 2010/02/15
Channel: xmuscularghandix
Dennis Johnson (27pts/4rbs/5asts/5stls) vs Lakers, 1982 WCSF game2, highlights
Dennis Johnson (27pts/4rbs/5asts/5stls) vs Lakers, 1982 WCSF game2, highlights
Published: 2014/02/08
Channel: BasketballJones48021
Intro to Geodesic Domes: An Interview with Dennis Johnson
Intro to Geodesic Domes: An Interview with Dennis Johnson
Published: 2014/02/11
Channel: Alternative Homes Today
Dennis Johnson
Dennis Johnson
Published: 2009/03/27
Channel: MrMaleModel
James Worthy Vs Dennis Johnson/Greg Kite
James Worthy Vs Dennis Johnson/Greg Kite
Published: 2013/07/05
Channel: Retro Basketball Highlights
Dennis Johnson Beast Run vs. Florida (2009)
Dennis Johnson Beast Run vs. Florida (2009)
Published: 2015/09/02
Channel: WARMACHINE2013
Dennis johnson texans highlights
Dennis johnson texans highlights
Published: 2015/04/26
Channel: rundat
Oklahoma State Rep Dennis Johnson says "Jew down the price" during floor debate...
Oklahoma State Rep Dennis Johnson says "Jew down the price" during floor debate...
Published: 2013/04/18
Channel: The Lost Ogle
Rockin Slide Guitar Solo - Dennis Johnson
Rockin Slide Guitar Solo - Dennis Johnson
Published: 2013/12/30
Channel: Dennis Johnson Slide Guitar
Dennis Johnson Football Camp
Dennis Johnson Football Camp
Published: 2015/07/13
Channel: Spectrum News KY
Dennis Johnson Highlights at Arkansas
Dennis Johnson Highlights at Arkansas
Published: 2013/07/26
Channel: Tyler Gilbert
Dennis Johnson (15pts/8rebs/17asts) vs. Hawks (1985)
Dennis Johnson (15pts/8rebs/17asts) vs. Hawks (1985)
Published: 2017/02/10
Channel: LamarMatic
1980 Playoffs Billy Ray Bates/Dennis Johnson Pregame Interview
1980 Playoffs Billy Ray Bates/Dennis Johnson Pregame Interview
Published: 2014/12/21
Channel: Portland Basketball Classics
Dennis Johnson vs Florida 2009
Dennis Johnson vs Florida 2009
Published: 2012/08/14
Channel: Tyler Gilbert
Andre Brown, Dennis Johnson, Alfred Blue & Prosch
Andre Brown, Dennis Johnson, Alfred Blue & Prosch
Published: 2014/05/28
Channel: Porkchop McChunky
Dennis Johnson
Dennis Johnson's Endurocross
Published: 2010/12/20
Channel: TresGoones
Sapphire Rewards Dennis Johnson Pack Opening/Review - NBA 2K17 MyTeam
Sapphire Rewards Dennis Johnson Pack Opening/Review - NBA 2K17 MyTeam
Published: 2016/10/10
Channel: CivilrightsGaming
Dennis Johnson
Dennis Johnson
Published: 2013/01/26
Channel: Travis West
NBA 2K17 MYTEAM BLACKTOP: AMETHYST DENNIS JOHNSON PULL!!! W/ STATS
NBA 2K17 MYTEAM BLACKTOP: AMETHYST DENNIS JOHNSON PULL!!! W/ STATS
Published: 2016/10/07
Channel: Rogue Thunder
Famous Bird Steal, huge mistake by Isiah Thomas
Famous Bird Steal, huge mistake by Isiah Thomas
Published: 2007/09/02
Channel: Krzyś Zet
Dennis Johnson (R-Duncan, Oklahoma) -- "They might try to Jew me down"
Dennis Johnson (R-Duncan, Oklahoma) -- "They might try to Jew me down"
Published: 2013/04/18
Channel: soonertony
Dennis Johnson 23 pts vs Lakers 27.05.1984
Dennis Johnson 23 pts vs Lakers 27.05.1984
Published: 2017/05/27
Channel: Zarychta Highlights
Dennis Johnson: November Preview
Dennis Johnson: November Preview
Published: 2013/03/13
Channel: IrritableHedgehog
Dennis Johnson Jr  | Quarterback | Class of 2017
Dennis Johnson Jr | Quarterback | Class of 2017
Published: 2016/10/18
Channel: SummitCitySports
Jeugdspeler van de maand: Dennis Johnsen
Jeugdspeler van de maand: Dennis Johnsen
Published: 2017/02/23
Channel: scHeerenveen
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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Dennis Johnson
Dennis Johnson shooting a layup.
Personal information
Born (1954-09-18)September 18, 1954
San Pedro, California
Died February 22, 2007(2007-02-22) (aged 52)
Austin, Texas
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight 182 lb (83 kg)
Career information
High school Dominguez (Compton, California)
College
NBA draft 1976 / Round: 2 / Pick: 29th overall
Selected by the Seattle SuperSonics
Playing career 1976–1990
Position Guard
Number 24, 3
Career history
As player:
19761980 Seattle SuperSonics
19801983 Phoenix Suns
19831990 Boston Celtics
As coach:
1999–2000 La Crosse Bobcats
2003 Los Angeles Clippers
2004–2005 Florida Flame
2005–2007 Austin Toros
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 15,535 (14.9 ppg)
Assists 5,499 (5.0 apg)
Steals 1,477 (1.3 spg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player

Dennis Wayne Johnson (September 18, 1954 – February 22, 2007), nicknamed "DJ", was an American professional basketball player for the National Basketball Association's (NBA) Seattle SuperSonics, Phoenix Suns and Boston Celtics and coach of the Los Angeles Clippers. He was an alumnus of Dominguez High School, Los Angeles Harbor College and Pepperdine University.[1]

A prototypical late bloomer, Johnson overcame early struggles[2] and had a successful NBA playing career. Drafted 29th overall in 1976 by the Seattle SuperSonics, Johnson began his professional career as a shooting guard. He eventually led the Sonics to their only NBA championship in 1979, winning the Finals MVP Award. After a short stint with the Phoenix Suns, he became the starting point guard for the Boston Celtics, with whom he won two more championships. Johnson was voted into five All-Star Teams, one All-NBA First and one Second Team, and nine consecutive All-Defensive First and Second Teams.[3] Apart from his reputation as a defensive stopper, Johnson was known as a clutch player who made several decisive plays in NBA playoffs history.[1]

The Celtics franchise has retired Johnson's #3 jersey, which hangs from the rafters of the TD Garden, the home arena of the team. On April 5, 2010, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame officially announced that Johnson had been posthumously elected to the Hall. He was formally inducted on August 13.[4] He is considered by several sports journalists to be one of the most underrated players of all time.[5][6][7]

Early years[edit]

Dennis Wayne Johnson was born the eighth of sixteen children, to a social worker and a bricklayer who lived in Compton, California, a suburb of Los Angeles.[1] Originally a baseball fan and a Little Leaguer,[2] Johnson learned basketball from his father, but seemed to have neither the size nor the talent to compete with his peers: as a teenager at Dominguez High School, Johnson measured just 5'9" and played only "a minute or two each game".[1] After high school, he worked several odd jobs, including a $2.75-per-hour job as a forklift driver, and played with his brothers in summer league games after work. During this period, Johnson grew to a height of 6'3",[2] and developed what some later described as "rocket launcher legs", which enabled him to jump high to grab rebounds against taller opponents.[1]

Jim White, the coach at Los Angeles Harbor College, had watched Johnson play street basketball; feeling that Johnson excelled in defense, White asked him to enroll.[2] Johnson gave up his jobs and developed into a promising young guard, averaging 18.3 points and 12.0 rebounds per game and leading Harbor to a college junior state title.[1] However, the young guard lacked discipline, often clashed with White and was thrown off the team three times in two years.[2]

At the end of his junior college career, two universities offered Johnson scholarships: Azusa Pacific University and Pepperdine University.[1] Johnson chose the latter, and in his only year in college, he averaged 15.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game,[3] and developed a reputation for tough defense. After that year, Johnson made himself eligible for the 1976 NBA draft, but was skeptical that any team would take him.[1] NBA teams were wary of drafting a player with character issues,[2] and Johnson was known to be a troublemaker.

Professional career[edit]

Seattle SuperSonics (1976–80)[edit]

The Seattle SuperSonics took Johnson in the second round of the 1976 draft with the 29th pick and gave him a four-year contract, with which he earned a salary of $45,000 in the first year and $90,000 in the last.[8] In his rookie year, the 1976–77 NBA season, Johnson, playing backup to the experienced Sonics backcourt tandem of Slick Watts and Fred Brown, averaged 9.2 points and 1.5 assists per game.[3] The Sonics finished with a 40–42 record[9] and missed the 1977 NBA Playoffs, leading head coach Bill Russell to resign.[1] In the following season, the team lost 17 of the first 22 games under Russell's replacement Bob Hopkins, who was replaced by Hall of Fame coach Lenny Wilkens, who gave Johnson a starting spot and paired him with Gus Williams.[1] Johnson revelled in this new role, improving his averages to 12.7 points and 2.8 assists per game.[3] During this period Johnson played shooting guard and was known for his aggressive slam dunking, in contrast to the more cerebral roles he played later in his career.[5] It was at this time that Johnson's nickname "DJ" was coined by play-by-play announcer Bob Blackburn, to help distinguish him from teammates, John Johnson and Vinnie Johnson (whom Blackburn referred to as "JJ" and "VJ", respectively).[10]

Finishing strongly, the Sonics ended the regular season with a 47–35 record and made the 1978 NBA Playoffs. After eliminating the Los Angeles Lakers, the defending champion Portland Trail Blazers, and the Denver Nuggets, they almost defeated the Washington Bullets by taking a 3–2 lead in the 1978 NBA Finals. In a 93–92 Game 3 victory, Johnson blocked seven shots—the most blocks in NBA Finals history for a guard.[11][12] The Sonics lost in seven games, however, partly because of Johnson's Game 7 scoring drought, in which the second-year guard missed all of his 14 field goal attempts.[8] Johnson later acknowledged that he simply "choked"; he vowed never to repeat this again and credited this game as an important lesson to become a better player.[2]

Johnson and the Sonics got their revenge in the 1978–79 season. After clinching the Pacific Division with a 52–30 record,[9] the team met the Bullets again in the 1979 NBA Finals. After losing Game 1, the Sonics won the next four games to take the finals series, helped by Johnson who averaged almost 23 points along with six rebounds and assists per game.[13] He scored 32 points in a Game 4 overtime victory, and was named NBA Finals MVP.[1] It was during this season that Johnson established himself as one of the best guards in the league; he averaged 15.9 points and 3.5 assists per game, and made his first All-Defensive First Team and All-Star Game appearance.[3]

During the following season, Johnson averaged 19.0 points and 4.1 assists, appeared in his second All-Star Game and was named to the All-Defensive First Team and All-NBA Second Team.[3] The Sonics, however, lost in the Western Conference Finals to the Lakers, who had Hall of Famers Jamaal Wilkes, Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Because of the abundance of talent on the Sonics team, Johnson later called this loss one of the worst disappointments of his professional career. The Sonics may well have won a 2nd straight championship in a third straight run to the finals, but point guard Gus Williams held out that season. He sought $1 million for a season, a paltry sum by today's standards, but the Sonics refused to pay, and it ultimately cost them their last shot at the finals for 17 more seasons.[2] Coach Wilkens grew tired of Johnson, who often clashed with him and was perceived as a growing liability to the team.[2][14] At the end of the season, Johnson was traded to the Phoenix Suns for Paul Westphal and draft picks. The Sonics finished 22 games worse in the next season despite the addition of Westphal.[5]

Phoenix Suns (1980–83)[edit]

Johnson further established himself as a quality player in Phoenix. In his three years as a Sun, Johnson averaged 14–20 points a game and provided tough defense. He played in two All-Star Games, was voted into three consecutive All-Defensive First Teams and earned his only All-NBA First Team appearance.[3] In this period Johnson, like in Seattle, played shooting guard and became the main scorer on the team, as opposed to being the second or third option as a Sonic.[5]

In the first two years of Johnson's stint, the Suns were fairly successful, reaching the Western Conference Semifinals both seasons. The Suns bowed out in the first round in Johnson's last year.[15] Johnson's situation deteriorated towards the end of his career at Phoenix. Like in Seattle, he often clashed with his coach, John MacLeod, and finally was traded by general manager, Jerry Colangelo, to the Boston Celtics for Rick Robey and draft picks.[2] Like Seattle after Johnson's departure, the Suns finished 12 games worse in the next season despite the addition of Robey.[5]

Boston Celtics (1983–90)[edit]

Between the 1979–80 season and 1981–82 season seasons, the Celtics had lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Finals 2 out of 3 times, mainly because physical Sixers guard Andrew Toney routinely caused problems for their defensively fragile backcourt. After subsequently getting swept by the Bucks in the 1982–83 Eastern Conference Semifinals, Celtics general manager Red Auerbach added the perennial All-Defensive Team member Johnson to his squad, hoping that it would help the Celtics fare better in the Eastern Conference playoffs, particular against the 76ers.[5] Johnson joined a squad led by Hall of Fame forward Larry Bird, who played in the frontcourt with two fellow Hall of Famers, center Robert Parish and forward Kevin McHale, a combination often called the best frontcourt of all time by the NBA.[16] Johnson described joining the Celtics as a "dream come true" and enjoyed the tutelage of highly successful general manager Auerbach, who was "living history" according to Johnson.[2]

With the Celtics Johnson changed his playing style for the third time in his career: after being known as a slam dunking shooting guard with the Sonics, and an all-around scorer with the Suns, he now established himself as a point guard who was defined more by playmaking than scoring.[5] In his first year as a Celtic, he averaged 13.2 points and 4.2 assists and was elected to the All-Defensive Second Team.[3] The Celtics reached the 1984 NBA Finals, where they met the Los Angeles Lakers, their intense rivals since the 1960s. The Celtics won 4–3, and Johnson took credit for playing smothering defense on Hall of Fame Lakers playmaker Earvin Johnson, limiting him to a sub-average 17 points in the last four games,[5] and being at least partly responsible for several of the Laker point guard's game-deciding errors in Games 2, 4 and 7. As a result, Magic Johnson was taunted as "Tragic Johnson" whenever the Lakers and Celtics played against each other.[17]

In the 1984–85 season, Johnson continued playing smothering defense, earning his next All-Defensive Second Team call-up while averaging 16.9 points and 7.3 assists per game.[3] The Celtics met the Lakers in the 1985 NBA Finals again. Johnson's big moment came in Game 4: when the score was tied at 105, teammate Larry Bird had the ball in the last seconds. Being double-teamed by Lakers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson, Bird passed to the open Johnson, and the guard sank a 19-ft buzzer beater to win the game.[8] The Lakers, however, took their revenge this time, winning the series in six games, powered by venerable 38-year-old Finals MVP Abdul-Jabbar. Johnson described this loss as one of the toughest in his career, because the Celtics were "close [to winning the series]", but "could not get the job done".[2]

In the following season the Celtics made the playoffs, helped by the performance of Johnson, who made the All-Defensive Second Team again while tallying 17.8 points and 6.7 assists per game.[3] After defeating the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics reached the 1986 NBA Finals against the up-and-coming Houston Rockets, led by the "Twin Towers" of centers Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon. Led by Finals MVP Larry Bird, the Celtics beat the Rockets 4–2, and Johnson won his third title.[18]

The Celtics were unable to repeat their title in 1987 despite several dramatic playoff victories. Johnson played strong defense again, earning yet another appearance on the All-Defensive First Team,[3] and the Celtics embarked on a nail-biting playoff campaign. In the 1987 Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Celtics split the first six games against the Milwaukee Bucks. In the deciding Game 7, which the Celtics won, Johnson had a spectacular play with 1:30 left in the game: a Celtics ball threatened to fly out of bounds, but Johnson dived for it and whipped it backwards in mid-air against Bucks center and former Sonics teammate Jack Sikma. The ball bounced off Sikma before going out of bounds, and the Celtics maintained possession.[5]

In the next round the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics faced the Detroit Pistons. The series was described as a grudge match between two intense rivals, featuring a great level of personal animosity, sharp rhetoric, and several physical altercations. The center of this feud was Pistons pivot Bill Laimbeer, who brawled with Celtics players Bird and Parish.[19] In Game 5 Johnson was involved in a crucial play: down 107-106, Larry Bird stole the in-bounds pass by Pistons point guard Isiah Thomas with 5 seconds left and passed it to a sprinting Johnson, who converted a difficult layup with 1 second left in the game.[1] This play caused Celtics broadcaster Johnny Most to shout out one of his most famous calls:[20]

According to Johnson this was his favorite play of all-time.[2] Games 6 and 7 also featured a feud, this time between Pistons forward Dennis Rodman and Johnson. In Game 6, which the Pistons won, Rodman taunted Johnson in the closing seconds by waving his right hand over his head. When the Celtics took Game 7, Johnson went back at Rodman in the last moments of the game and mimicked his taunting gesture.[5] In the 1987 NBA Finals, however, the Celtics succumbed to the Los Angeles Lakers 4–2 as Lakers playmaker and Finals MVP Magic Johnson put up a great performance, averaging 26 points and 13 assists throughout the series.[17][21]

The next three seasons were disappointing for the aging Celtics. In the 1987–88 season, Johnson averaged 12.6 points and 7.8 assists,[3] but in the 1988 Playoffs, the Celtics were unable to beat the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals.[18] In the next season, Johnson (who statistically declined to 10.0 points and 6.6 assists per game)[3] and his team made the 1989 NBA Playoffs on a meager 42–40 record (largely due to the absence of star forward Larry Bird for almost the entire season), but were immediately eliminated in the first round (again, largely due to the absence of the injured Larry Bird.)[18] The following 1989–90 NBA season was Johnson's last. The now 35-year-old playmaker relinquished his starting point guard role to younger John Bagley, but when Bagley dislocated his shoulder, Johnson returned with a high level of performance and was lovingly called "our glue man" by coach Jimmy Rodgers.[22][23] In that season, Johnson started in 65 of his 75 games, averaging 7.1 points and 6.5 assists,[3] but the Celtics failed to survive the first round of the 1990 NBA Playoffs.[24]

Johnson retired after the Celtics did not offer him a new contract at the beginning of the 1991 season.[25] During his retirement ceremony, his perennial Los Angeles Lakers opponent Magic Johnson telegraphed him and lauded him as "the best backcourt defender of all-time".[22] In addition Celtics colleague and triple NBA Most Valuable Player award winner Larry Bird called Johnson the best teammate he ever had.[1]

Post-player career[edit]

After retiring as a player, Johnson worked as a scout for the Celtics.[1] In 1993, he became an assistant coach for the Celtics, a position he held until 1997.[22] After spending several years outside the limelight, he returned as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2000, and spent four seasons there. For 24 games toward the end of the 2002–03 season, Johnson served as interim head coach after the departure of Alvin Gentry.[22][26] Johnson later worked as a scout for the Portland Trail Blazers, and in 2004 he was named head coach of the NBA Development League's Florida Flame. He became head coach of the NBADL's Austin Toros the following season, and held that position until his death two years later.[22]

NBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Denotes seasons in which Johnson won an NBA championship

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1976–77 Seattle 81 20.6 .504 .624 3.7 1.5 1.5 0.7 9.2
1977–78 Seattle 81 27.3 .417 .732 3.6 2.8 1.5 0.6 12.7
1978–79 Seattle 80 34.0 .434 .781 4.7 3.5 1.3 1.2 15.9
1979–80 Seattle 81 36.3 .422 .207 .780 5.1 4.1 1.8 1.0 19.0
1980–81 Phoenix 79 33.1 .436 .216 .820 4.6 3.7 1.7 0.8 18.8
1981–82 Phoenix 80 77 36.7 .470 .190 .806 5.1 4.6 1.3 0.7 19.5
1982–83 Phoenix 77 74 33.1 .462 .161 .791 4.4 5.0 1.3 0.5 14.2
1983–84 Boston 80 78 33.3 .437 .125 .852 3.5 4.2 1.2 0.7 13.2
1984–85 Boston 80 77 37.2 .462 .269 .853 4.0 6.8 1.2 0.5 15.7
1985–86 Boston 78 78 35.0 .455 .143 .818 3.4 5.8 1.4 0.4 15.6
1986–87 Boston 79 78 37.1 .444 .113 .833 3.3 7.5 1.1 0.5 13.4
1987–88 Boston 77 74 34.7 .438 .261 .856 3.1 7.8 1.2 0.4 12.6
1988–89 Boston 72 72 32.1 .434 .140 .821 2.6 6.6 1.3 0.3 10.0
1989–90 Boston 75 65 27.1 .434 .042 .843 2.7 6.5 1.1 0.2 7.1
Career 1,100 673 32.7 .445 .172 .797 3.9 5.0 1.3 0.6 14.1
All-Star 5 0 19.6 .541 .864 3.6 1.8 1.0 0.8 11.8
Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1978 Seattle 22 37.6 .412 .704 4.6 3.3 1.0 1.0 16.1
1979 Seattle 17 40.1 .450 .771 6.1 4.1 1.6 1.5 20.9
1980 Seattle 15 38.8 .410 .333 .839 4.3 3.8 1.8 0.7 17.1
1981 Phoenix 7 38.1 .473 .200 .762 4.7 2.9 1.3 1.3 19.6
1982 Phoenix 7 38.7 .477 .000 .769 4.4 4.6 2.1 0.6 22.3
1983 Phoenix 3 36.0 .458 .000 .833 7.7 5.7 1.7 0.7 18.0
1984 Boston 22 36.7 .404 .429 .867 3.6 4.4 1.1 0.3 16.6
1985 Boston 21 21 40.4 .445 .000 .860 4.0 7.3 1.5 0.4 17.3
1986 Boston 18 18 39.7 .445 .375 .798 4.2 5.9 2.2 0.3 16.2
1987 Boston 23 23 41.9 .465 .115 .850 4.0 8.9 0.7 0.3 18.9
1988 Boston 17 17 41.3 .433 .375 .796 4.5 8.2 1.4 0.5 15.9
1989 Boston 3 1 19.7 .267 1.3 3.0 1.0 0.0 2.7
1990 Boston 5 5 32.4 .484 .333 1.000 2.8 5.6 0.4 0.4 13.8
Career 180 85 38.9 .439 .239 .802 4.3 5.6 1.4 0.6 17.3


Head coaching record[edit]

Legend
Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Post season PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
L.A. Clippers 2002–03 24 8 16 .333 7th in Pacific Missed playoffs
Career 24 8 16 .333

Legacy[edit]

A "3" inside a square, written in green
In 1991, the Boston Celtics retired a number-3 jersey with Dennis Johnson's name.

In 1,100 games, Johnson scored 15,535 points, grabbed 4,249 rebounds and gave 5,499 assists, translating to career averages of 14.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game.[3] Known as a defensive stalwart, he was elected into nine straight All-Defensive First or Second Teams.[3] NBA legend George Gervin said in a podcast with journalist Bill Simmons that Johnson was the hardest defender he ever played against.[27] Johnson is also acknowledged by the NBA as a "money player"[1] who was clutch in decisive moments, such as scoring 32 points for his team in a Game 4 overtime victory in the 1979 NBA Finals, playing smothering defense on Magic Johnson in the 1984 NBA Finals, and converting a last-second layup in Game 5 of the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals after a Larry Bird steal.[1]

Furthermore, Johnson is lauded by the NBA as a versatile all-around weapon who played with "contagious competitiveness"[1] and was known for his durability: in 14 NBA seasons, he played in 1,100 of a possible 1,148 games and participated in 180 playoff games, the latter figure the 11th highest number of all time.[5] At his retirement, Johnson was only the 11th NBA player to amass more than 15,000 points and 5,000 assists.[1]

On December 13, 1991, the Celtics franchise retired his number 3 jersey. Johnson said he would always be a Boston Celtic, and remarked that seeing his number in the rafters gave him a "special feeling".[2] However, Johnson did not live to see an induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, a fact that has been a considerable point of debate with sports journalists. Bill Simmons of ESPN called his Hall of Fame snub an "ongoing injustice", stating that according to him, Joe Dumars – a Hall of Famer known for strong defense rather than spectacular scoring, like Johnson – was no better [a basketball player] than him.[5] Colleague Ken Shouler called Johnson "one of the first guys I'd give a Hall [of Fame] pass".[8] Contemporary Boston Celtics Hall of Fame forward Larry Bird gave Johnson ultimate praise, calling him the best teammate he ever had in his autobiography Drive,[1] which is especially significant considering Bird's teammates included Hall of Famers Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Bill Walton, and Tiny Archibald.[28] On April 3, 2010, ESPN Boston reported that Johnson was posthumously elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.[29] This was officially confirmed two days later when the Hall released the list of 2010 inductees.[4]

On October 26, 2007, a learning center was dedicated in Johnson's name in the Central Branch of the YMCA of Greater Boston. The center was made possible by the donations and effort of Larry Bird and M.L. Carr. Johnson's family, Danny Ainge, Carr, and members of the YMCA and local community were present for the ribbon cutting ceremony. Donna Johnson said on behalf of her husband, "If Dennis were alive he would really appreciate the thought and love the idea of the Learning Center."[30]

The NBA D-League Coach of the Year award is named after Johnson.

Personal life[edit]

Dennis Johnson was married to Donna, his wife of 31 years, and had three children named Dwayne, Denise, and Daniel.[31] Johnson was also known for his appearance: he had freckles and reddish hair.[32] Dennis's brother, Joey, is a former Arizona State Sun Devils basketball star. Johnson's nephews are Nick, who appeared in 37 games with the 2014–15 Houston Rockets after being drafted by them in the 2nd Round of the 2014 NBA draft, and Chris, who appeared briefly in four games with the 2013–14 Arizona Wildcats college basketball team.[33]

On October 20, 1997, Johnson was arrested and detained overnight for allegedly holding a knife to his wife's throat and threatening his 17-year-old son.[34] Johnson was later charged with aggravated assault and was ordered to stay away from his family.[35][36] The prosecutors dropped the case several months later after his wife declined to press charges.[37] Johnson reportedly went to counseling to repair his marriage.[38]

Death[edit]

On February 22, 2007, at the Austin Convention Center, Coach Johnson had a heart attack and collapsed at the end of the Toros' practice.[22] After being rushed to a nearby hospital, he could not be revived and was later pronounced dead. Johnson was survived by his wife and his children.[22] Johnson's death was met with shock throughout the NBA. Among others, contemporary Celtics colleague Danny Ainge called him one of "the most underrated players of all time [...] and one of the greatest Celtics acquisitions",[22] and one-time rival Bill Laimbeer called him "a great player on a great ballclub".[22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Dennis Johnson Bio". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved August 17, 2007. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n McClellan, Michael D. (October 1, 2002). "The Long Shot: The Dennis Johnson Interview". Celtic-nation.com. Retrieved August 17, 2007. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Dennis Johnson Stats". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved August 17, 2007. 
  4. ^ a b "Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2010" (Press release). Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. 2010-04-05. Archived from the original on 2010-04-09. Retrieved 2010-04-05. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "The Sports Guy: RIP, DJ". ESPN. Retrieved August 17, 2007. 
  6. ^ "Hall of Fame still neglecting a few greats". ESPN. Retrieved February 3, 2008. 
  7. ^ "Shining stars who belong in the Hall of Fame". ESPN. Retrieved February 3, 2008. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Shouler: DJ deserving of praise". ESPN. Retrieved August 17, 2007. 
  9. ^ a b "Seattle Supersonics Team Indexs". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved August 17, 2007. 
  10. ^ Schey, Bill. "D.J. had yen for big shots, big-time 'D'". The News Tribune. p. C.1. 
  11. ^ "NBA Finals records". USA Today. June 2, 2001. Retrieved February 3, 2008. 
  12. ^ "This Date in History-May". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved September 26, 2009. 
  13. ^ "1979 NBA Finals Composite Box Score". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved September 26, 2009. 
  14. ^ "Wilkens labels Johnson 'cancer'". Wilmington Morning Star. October 2, 1980. Retrieved September 26, 2009. 
  15. ^ "Phoenix Suns Team Indexs". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved August 17, 2007. 
  16. ^ "Larry Bird Bio". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved August 17, 2007. 
  17. ^ a b "Magic Johnson Bio". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved August 17, 2007. 
  18. ^ a b c "Boston Celtics Team Indexs". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved August 17, 2007. 
  19. ^ "Bill Laimbeer Bio". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved August 17, 2007. 
  20. ^ Cohen, Josh. "The Tale of Two Legends". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved September 26, 2009. 
  21. ^ "1987 NBA Finals Composite Box Score". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved October 9, 2009. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i Goldstein, Richard (February 23, 2007). "Dennis Johnson, 52, N.B.A. Defensive Wizard, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved February 23, 2007. 
  23. ^ Burris, Joe (January 5, 1990). "DJ Quietly Impressing His Point". The Boston Globe. p. 44. 
  24. ^ "1989-90 Boston Celtics Roster and Statistics". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved October 23, 2009. 
  25. ^ "Sports People: Pro Basketball; Johnson Not Offered Contract by Celtics". The New York Times. October 2, 1990. Retrieved October 1, 2009. 
  26. ^ Allen, Percy (February 23, 2007). "D.J. left indelible mark". The Seattle Times. Retrieved September 27, 2009. 
  27. ^ Video on YouTube
  28. ^ basketball-reference.com
  29. ^ "Source: Johnson makes HOF". ESPN Boston. April 3, 2010. Retrieved April 4, 2010. 
  30. ^ "Larry Bird & M.L. Carr Open WARM2Kids Learning Center in Memory of Teammate Dennis Johnson". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. October 26, 2007. Retrieved September 30, 2009. 
  31. ^ "Dennis Johnson remembered at memorial service". ESPN. Retrieved August 17, 2007. 
  32. ^ MacMullan, Jackie (February 23, 2007). "He always rose to the occasion". The Boston Globe. Retrieved August 17, 2007. 
  33. ^ "Chris Johnson - 2013-14 Men's Basketball Roster". University of Arizona. Retrieved July 24, 2017. 
  34. ^ "Plus: Pro Basketball; Dennis Johnson Is Arrested". The New York Times. September 21, 1997. Retrieved February 24, 2007. 
  35. ^ May, Peter; Steve Richards (October 21, 1997). "Johnson charged in assault Ex-Celtic allegedly held knife to his wife". Boston Globe. p. E.1. 
  36. ^ May, Peter; Steve Richards (October 22, 1997). "Johnson released from jail He must stay away from wife". Boston Globe. p. F.1. 
  37. ^ May, Peter (January 9, 1998). "Charges Dropped Against Johnson". Boston Globe. p. E.3. 
  38. ^ Jackson, Derrick Z. (February 24, 2007). "The man in Dennis Johnson". Boston Globe. Retrieved October 10, 2009. 

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