Amir Johnson

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Amir Johnson
David Lee Amir Johnson.jpg
Johnson (right) boxing out David Lee
No. 15 – Toronto Raptors
Position Power forward
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1987-05-01) May 1, 1987 (age 27)
Los Angeles, California
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight 240 lb (109 kg)
Career information
High school Verbum Dei
(Los Angeles, California)
Westchester
(Los Angeles, California)
NBA draft 2005 / Round: 2 / Pick: 56th overall
Selected by the Detroit Pistons
Pro career 2005–present
Career history
20052009 Detroit Pistons
2006 Fayetteville Patriots (D-League)
2007 Sioux Falls Skyforce (D-League)
2009–present Toronto Raptors
Career highlights and awards

Amir Jalla Johnson (born May 1, 1987) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Early life[edit]

Born in Los Angeles, Johnson grew up mainly in East Los Angeles, but also spent time as a child in Harbor City and Watts. Despite being tall and athletic, Johnson struggled to find a place on a high school basketball team. His freshman year was split at two schools (Pacific Hills, Narbonne), neither of which featured him on the court. From there, he enrolled at Verbum Dei High School, where he enjoyed a solid inaugural season of high school basketball as a sophomore in 2002–03. He then transferred to Westchester High School but was forced to sit out his junior year of 2003–04. He made up for lost time as a senior in 2004–05 as he was named the 2005 California Mr. Basketball after leading Westchester to a state title. He was subsequently named a McDonald's All-American and appeared in the 2005 Boys Game.[1]

Despite committing to play for the University of Louisville, Johnson decided to skip college and declared for NBA draft.[2]

NBA career[edit]

Detroit Pistons[edit]

Johnson was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the 56th overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft.[3] He is the last high school player to be selected in the NBA draft,[2] as the NBA instituted a rule prior to the 2006 draft that requires American players to be at least one year removed from the graduation of their high school class to be eligible.

As a rookie for the Pistons, Johnson appeared in just three games during the 2005–06 season. He scored his first NBA basket on a windmill dunk against the Minnesota Timberwolves on January 24, 2006. On February 27, 2006, he was assigned to the Fayetteville Patriots of the NBA Development League. After appearing in 18 games for the Patriots, he was recalled by the Pistons on April 17, 2006. That same day, he scored 18 points for the Pistons in their 20-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, making all six of his field goal attempts, both three-point attempts, and all four of his free throw attempts.[4]

Johnson spent most of the 2006–07 season playing for the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA Development League, where he earned Player of the Week honors for his play.[5] In 22 games for the Skyforce, Johnson averaged 18.9 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.2 steals and 3.1 blocks per game, while shooting 62.3% from the field.[6] Despite his strong D-League play, Johnson managed just eight games for the Pistons in 2006–07, averaging 5.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.

On July 12, 2007, Johnson re-signed with the Pistons to a three-year, $12 million contract.[7] Over the next two seasons, Johnson played a total of 124 games for the Pistons as he became a valuable asset off the bench. He averaged 3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds in 2007–08, and 3.5 points and 3.7 rebounds in 2008–09. He also averaged 1.1 blocks per game over the two seasons.[8]

Toronto Raptors[edit]

On June 23, 2009, Johnson was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in a three three-team trade that also involved the San Antonio Spurs and Richard Jefferson.[9] He was later traded to the Toronto Raptors on August 18, 2009, along with Sonny Weems, in exchange for Carlos Delfino and Roko Ukić.[10]

On July 8, 2010, Johnson re-signed with the Raptors to a five-year, $34 million contract.[11][12]

Johnson had a career season in 2012–13 as he averaged career-highs in minutes played (28.7 mpg), points (10.0 ppg), rebounds (7.5 rpg), assists (1.5 apg) and steals (1.0 spg).[8] With his continued rise in dominance and overall production, Johnson began to embrace the city of Toronto, quoting that “Toronto is part of me. I've been around, the people are very kind, I love it here.”[13]

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

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2005–06 Detroit 3 0 13.0 .700 .667 1.000 1.3 1.0 .0 .7 6.7
2006–07 Detroit 8 0 15.5 .545 .000 .786 4.6 .4 .6 1.6 5.9
2007–08 Detroit 62 0 12.3 .558 .000 .673 3.8 .5 .4 1.3 3.6
2008–09 Detroit 62 24 14.7 .595 .000 .657 3.7 .3 .3 1.0 3.5
2009–10 Toronto 82 5 17.7 .623 .000 .638 4.8 .6 .5 0.8 6.2
2010–11 Toronto 72 54 25.7 .568 .000 .787 6.4 1.1 .7 1.2 9.6
2011–12 Toronto 64 43 24.3 .576 .400 .690 6.4 1.2 .5 1.1 7.1
2012–13 Toronto 81 38 28.7 .554 .385 .727 7.5 1.5 1.0 1.4 10.0
2013–14 Toronto 77 72 28.8 .562 .303 .636 6.6 1.5 .7 1.1 10.4
Career 511 236 22.0 .573 .305 .699 5.7 1.0 .6 1.1 7.4

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2008 Detroit 8 0 5.4 .750 .000 .500 1.6 .1 .0 .4 2.6
2009 Detroit 3 0 4.3 1.000 .000 .000 1.0 .0 .0 .3 .7
2014 Toronto 7 7 27.3 .654 .000 .750 6.0 1.0 .4 .6 11.0
Career 18 7 13.7 .677 .000 .667 3.2 .4 .2 .4 5.6

Personal life[edit]

Johnson grew up in an athletic family. His sister, Indi, played forward for Southern University's women's basketball team, while his cousins, Kevin and Kaelin Burnett, both play linebacker in the NFL.[14]

Johnson is highly involved in community work, and regularly hosts back to school programs, visits local hospitals and pays for low income youth to attend games.[14] He is also known for his random acts of kindness. Shortly after the release of Drake’s Nothing Was the Same album, Johnson bought all the copies from two local stores and handed them out to random pedestrians in Toronto.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ""The L.A. in my Game," with Amir Johnson". ESPN.com. August 18, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "A Look at High School Players in the NBA Draft". Rivals.com. Retrieved November 29, 2014. 
  3. ^ On-the-Job Training
  4. ^ Amir Johnson 2005-06 Game Log
  5. ^ Amir Johnson Named D-League Performer of the Week
  6. ^ Amir Johnson D-League Stats
  7. ^ "Sources: Pistons, forward Johnson agree to 3-year deal". ESPN.com. July 12, 2007. Retrieved November 29, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Amir Johnson NBA & ABA Stats
  9. ^ "MILWAUKEE BUCKS COMPLETE THREE-TEAM DEAL WITH SAN ANTONIO AND DETROIT". NBA.com. June 23, 2009. Archived from the original on June 27, 2009. Retrieved June 23, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Raptors Acquire Johnson And Weems From Milwaukee". NBA.com. August 18, 2009. Retrieved August 18, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Raptors Re-Sign Free Agent Amir Johnson". NBA.com. July 8, 2010. Retrieved November 29, 2014. 
  12. ^ Koreen, Eric (July 1, 2010). "Amir Johnson re-signs with Raptors". NationalPost.com. Retrieved November 29, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Raptors' Amir Johnson says he's in love with Toronto
  14. ^ a b This Is Amir Johnson: The Biography

External links[edit]