Eddie Johnson (basketball, born 1959)
May 1, 1959 |
|Listed height||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|Listed weight||215 lb (98 kg)|
|High school||Westinghouse (Chicago, Illinois)|
|NBA draft||1981 / Round: 2 / Pick: 29th overall|
|Selected by the Kansas City Kings|
|1981–1987||Kansas City / Sacramento Kings|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||19,202 (16.0 ppg)|
|Rebounds||4,832 (4.0 rpg)|
|Assists||2,550 (2.1 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Edward Arnet "Eddie" Johnson (born May 1, 1959) is a retired American professional basketball player who spent 17 seasons in the NBA and another season in the Euroleague midway through his career, playing nearly 1,200 games in the NBA, and who is notable for having scored the most career points of a player to never play in an NBA All-Star game. He is currently a broadcaster for Fox Sports Arizona.
Early life and college
A sharpshooting 6'7" forward/guard, Johnson attended the University of Illinois before being selected by the Kansas City Kings in the 1981 NBA Draft. Among Fighting Illini fans he is probably best remembered for his game-winning shot against Michigan State. At the time, MSU, which was led by future all-time NBA great Earvin "Magic" Johnson, was undefeated and ranked #1 in the nation, but Illinois was also undefeated at 14-0. The victory gave Illinois a 15-0 record and the #2 ranking nationally (Illinois subsequently faded during regular season play, but Michigan State went on to become eventual National Champions).
Johnson was elected to the "Illini Men's Basketball All-Century Team" in 2004.
Johnson would play for the Kings, the Phoenix Suns, the Seattle SuperSonics, the Charlotte Hornets, the Indiana Pacers, the Houston Rockets, and Greek team Olympiacos (1994–1995) before retiring from basketball in 1999. Although his 19,202 points over 1,199 NBA games was the 22nd highest total in NBA history at the time of his retirement, Johnson was never selected to play in the All-Star game nor ever chosen for an All-NBA team. In fact, the "awards highlight" of his career occurred in 1989, when he received the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award as a member of the Suns. Johnson's career point total of 19,202 is also higher than all but 30 inductees into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
He also played for one year in the Greek League, with Olympiacos in the 1994-95 season. He became a cult favorite with the fans for his phenomenal shooting from outside the 3-point line. One game in particular established his enduring legend for fans of the Thrylos (Legend), when he scored four 3-pointers in the final minutes of the low-scoring and tense semi-final of the 1995 FIBA Champions' Cup European Final Four against arch-rivals Panathinaikos. Olympiacos won that match 58-52, but lost the final to Real Madrid. Johnson did, however, taste success in the Greek League where he was instrumental in Olympiacos' 3-2 series win over Panathinaikos in the Greek playoff finals of 1995. The fifth and vital match of that series ended in one of the lowest-scoring games ever, as Olympiacos scraped a 45-44 victory in a match that caused heart attacks for the fans. In 25 games for Olympiacos, Johnson totaled averages of 21.1 points per game and 4.9 rebounds per game in the 1994-95 season.
Return to NBA
After his season overseas, he then returned to the NBA and started the 1995-96 season with the Pacers. He was traded to the Nuggets on February 20, 1997 where he was quickly released. However, he signed with the Rockets for the remainder of the season and then returned to the Rockets for the next two seasons. Along with his Sixth Man of the Year Award, he is also remembered for hitting the game-winning three-pointer as time expired in a 95-92 Rockets win over the Utah Jazz in Game 4 of the 1997 Western Conference Finals. Johnson would play an additional season for the Rockets and then 3 games the following season before retiring as a player for good.
After his playing career was over, Johnson turned to broadcasting, serving as a color commentator for the Arizona State University men's basketball team, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, and currently the Phoenix Suns. Johnson is also an accomplished motivational speaker, and he has recently released an instructional DVD called Eddie Johnson's Jumpshot and Offensive Skills. Johnson is also a regular article contributor to the website Hoopshype.com and also enjoys debating his ideas, opinions, and thoughts with his readers.
In 2006, Johnson was mistaken in multiple media reports for "Fast Eddie" Johnson (a guard, middle name Lee, two-time NBA All-Star, one-time All-Defensive Second Team player, and four years older than Eddie A. Johnson) when the latter was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault of a minor and burglary on August 8 (that Eddie Johnson would eventually be sentenced to life imprisonment). While this was not the first time that Fast Eddie had been arrested (by estimates, that arrest neared 100 for Fast Eddie), the heinousness of the crime alleged to have been committed by Fast Eddie, combined with the fact that it happened during the NBA offseason when Eddie A. would not normally be on TV, generated major controversy after other outlets failed to read the initial Associated Press story (which detailed correctly Fast Eddie's career and background) and put up the wrong Eddie Johnson's picture. Johnson called that day the "worst...of his life" and expressed concern that the case of mistaken identity might permanently sully his reputation. Johnson expressed to Jay Mariotti of The Chicago Sun Times that he is considering legal action against the various news outlets that used pictures of him gained from the internet or did not fact check his identity against that of Edward "Fast Eddie" Johnson.
NBA career statistics
|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|
- a Incomplete statistics.
- List of National Basketball Association players with 1000 games played
- List of National Basketball Association career scoring leaders
- Sam Smith. "Rockets 95, Jazz 92: Wake up: It's Wild In West". Chicago Tribune. May 26, 1997. Sports, 1.
- Pells, Eddie (2006-08-11). "Former Sun has worst day of life". Associated Press. Retrieved 2006-08-11.