Steve Johnson (basketball)

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Steve Johnson
Personal information
Born (1957-11-03) November 3, 1957 (age 59)
Akron, Ohio
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
Listed weight 235 lb (107 kg)
Career information
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
Playing career 1981–1991
Position Power forward / Center
Number 33, 32
Career history
19811984 Kansas City Kings
19841985 Chicago Bulls
1985–1986 San Antonio Spurs
19861989 Portland Trail Blazers
1989–1990 Minnesota Timberwolves
1990 Seattle SuperSonics
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

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).

Collegiate career[edit]

Johnson played collegiately at Oregon State University under Naismith Hall of Fame coach Ralph Miller. He was the star player on the 1980–81 team (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.

Professional career[edit]

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.[1]


Johnson, who retired from playing to permanently settle in Portland source, now works with an organization called The Best of Yachting and is an investor in business in the area.


  1. ^ The Official NBA Basketball Encyclopedia. Villard Books. 1994. p. 379. ISBN 0-679-43293-0. 

External links[edit]