Frank Johnson (basketball)

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For other people with the same name, see Frank Johnson (disambiguation).
Frank Johnson
Personal information
Born (1958-11-23) November 23, 1958 (age 58)
Weirsdale, Florida
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Listed weight 185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High school Lake Weir (Summerfield, Florida)
College Wake Forest (1976–1981)
NBA draft 1981 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11th overall
Selected by the Washington Bullets
Playing career 1981–1994
Position Point guard
Number 15, 3
Career history
As player:
19811988 Washington Bullets
1988–1989 Houston Rockets
1989–1991 A. Ranger Varese (Italy)
1991 Marr Rimini (Italy)
1991–1992 Olympique Antibes (France)
19921994 Phoenix Suns
As coach:
20022003 Phoenix Suns
Career highlights and awards
  • First-team All-ACC (1981)
Career NBA statistics
Points 4,937 (8.3 ppg)
Rebounds 1,025 (1.7 rpg)
Assists 2,476 (4.2 apg)
Stats at

Franklin Lenard Johnson (born November 23, 1958) is a retired American professional basketball player and coach.

Playing career[edit]

After playing collegiately for Wake Forest University, Johnson was selected in the first round of the 1981 NBA draft with the 11th pick by the Washington Bullets. He played point guard in the NBA for the Bullets (1981–1988), the Houston Rockets (1988–89) (he signed as a free agent with the New Jersey Nets, but they traded him to the Rockets before he played in any games for them). He also played for the Phoenix Suns (1992–94) where his principal role was to relieve star Kevin Johnson. He was selected from the Rockets by the Orlando Magic in the 1989 expansion draft, but was waived before the 1989–90 season started. He played 650 games in the NBA (regular season and playoffs), with regular season career averages of 8.3 PPG and 4.2 APG in 21.6 minutes.[1]

He played professionally in Italy for Ranger Varese (1989–91, played in the finals of the Italian Championship in 1990) and Marr Rimini (Serie A2, 1991).[2]

Coaching career[edit]

Johnson coached the Phoenix Suns for almost two seasons beginning February 17, 2002, before he was fired on December 10, 2003 and replaced by assistant Mike D'Antoni. The official reason for the firing was routine—the team had performed poorly in 2003–04—but an article in the Arizona Republic [3] reported that some of Johnson's personal behavior caused a minor scandal for the Suns ownership. He had worked as an assistant coach with the Suns beginning late in the 1996–97 season under Danny Ainge and Scott Skiles before being promoted.

Head coaching record[edit]

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
Phoenix 2001–02 31 11 20 .355 6th in Midwest Missed playoffs
Phoenix 2002–03 82 44 38 .537 4th in Midwest 6 2 4 .333 Lost in First Round
Phoenix 2003–04 21 8 13 .381 (fired)
Career 134 63 71 .470 6 2 4 .333

Personal life[edit]


Johnson's brother "Fast Eddie" also played in the NBA. He spent more than eight seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, and closed out his career with stints in Cleveland and Seattle. Eddie was a two-time (1980, 1981) All-Star while with the Hawks, yet he is often confused with the sharpshooter Eddie Johnson, who played for NBA franchises in Kansas City, Phoenix, Seattle, Indiana, Charlotte and Houston during the 1980s and '90's.