Steve Johnson (basketball)
November 3, 1957 |
|Listed height||6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)|
|Listed weight||235 lb (107 kg)|
|High school||San Gorgonio
(San Bernardino, California)
|College||Oregon State (1976–1981)|
|NBA draft||1981 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7th overall|
|Selected by the Kansas City Kings|
|Position||Power forward / Center|
|1981–1984||Kansas City Kings|
|1985–1986||San Antonio Spurs|
|1986–1989||Portland Trail Blazers|
|1990–1991||Golden State Warriors|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||7,345 (11.7 ppg)|
|Rebounds||3,450 (5.5 rpg)|
|Assists||777 (1.2 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Clarence Stephen "Steve" Johnson (born November 3, 1957) is a retired American professional basketball player, who played for numerous NBA teams. He played the power forward and center positions. He was generally regarded as a good low-post offensive player, but as a poor defender and rebounder (and as a foul-prone player as well).
Johnson played collegiately at Oregon State University under legendary coach Ralph Miller. He was the star player on the 1980-1981 squad (known as the Orange Express) which spent most of the season at #1 in the national rankings, before losing in the NCAA basketball playoffs. That season, Johnson made 235 of 315 field goals for a field goal percentage of 74.6% — a single-season mark which is an NCAA men's basketball record to this day.
He was drafted the following summer, with the 7th pick overall, by the Kansas City Kings, and played with the Kings for 2½ seasons before being traded to the Chicago Bulls. After a season and a half with the Bulls, Johnson played a season with the San Antonio Spurs. While with the Spurs, Johnson led the league in field goal percentage at 0.632 — one of the highest in NBA history.
During the 1986 off-season, Johnson was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers for longtime Blazers' fixture Mychal Thompson; the team intended to start Johnson at power forward alongside defensive-minded center Sam Bowie. Five games into the season, however, Bowie suffered a broken leg (one of many such injuries he would endure in his ill-fated career), and Johnson was moved to the starting center role, with aging veteran Caldwell Jones replacing him at power forward. That year, Johnson enjoyed his best season as a pro, averaging nearly 17 points a game, and shooting a respectable 0.555 from the field.
The next season, Bowie again broke his leg, and Johnson assumed the starting center position. Unfortunately for him, he would himself be injured, and was replaced in the lineup by Kevin Duckworth, whose stellar play earned him the job permanently. Nevertheless, Johnson earned a selection on the West All-Star team, but was unable to play due to injury. An attempt to start both players in a dual-post configuration, and the Johnson/Duckworth controversy was one of several which distracted the team in the 1988-89 season (which led to a losing record and a first-round playoff sweep). After that season, the rather unhappy Johnson was left unprotected in the 1989 NBA expansion draft, and was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Johnson, unhappy with being drafted by an expansion team, played only 4 games for the Timberwolves before being traded to the Seattle SuperSonics; he played only 21 games for the Sonics that season. He played 24 games for the Golden State Warriors the following year; and retired at the conclusion of the 1990-1991 season.
Johnson holds the NCAA single season and career records for field goal percentage. He led the NBA in personal fouls during the 1981-82 and 1986-87 seasons, and led the NBA in disqualifications during the 1981-82, 1985-86, and 1986-87 seasons.