A martial artist delayed by basketball! James Johnson’s basketball path from versatile lineman to tough guard- NBA – Basketball

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Generally speaking, in addition to the star players who dominate the court, there are also some players called Enforcers. These players come out when their players are targeted. Someone more “strength” than James Johnson for this role…

Generally speaking, in addition to the star players who dominate the court, there are also many blue-collar workers who surround the stars. position, etc., and there is even a class of players whose responsibilities are not only those visible blue-collar jobs on the court, but also many invisible off-court actions, such as using small moves to annoy opponents, and when their own stars are being targeted. Jumping out of trouble and fearless in conflicts, such players are called “Enforcers”, that is, bodyguards. They are the teammates that every team’s players want, and they are also the opponents they least want to meet.

Among these bodyguards, I don’t think anyone has more “strength” for this role than James Johnson.

Johnson is not only an NBA player, but also a master of martial arts. In other words, martial arts entered his life earlier than basketball.

The Martial Artist Delayed by Basketball

“Martial arts played a big role in my upbringing.”
“Whether it’s in school, sports, or being a person.”

Johnson’s martial arts background comes from his family background. His father is a karate instructor with a sixth-degree black belt. Therefore, it is logical for Johnson to learn karate in his father’s gym since he was a child, and he has also been affirmed by a second-degree black belt. At that time, he also participated in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and achieved excellent results. His mother and eight siblings also have black belts in karate. But compared to other brothers, Johnson is also outstanding in basketball talent. He averaged 28 points and 9 rebounds per game in high school, which made him rated as a four-star high school student by the media and received scholarships from many universities, perhaps After thinking about it, he felt that the income and career of professional basketball players were better than those of fighters. Johnson finally decided to accept a scholarship from Wake Forest University and became a college student of Hall of Fame players Chris Paul and Tim Duncan.

“Many people are skeptical or curious about the fact that I know martial arts.”
“They’ll say, ‘You’re over 200 centimeters tall and you know martial arts? Well, I bet you can’t kick me in the face.'”

The height of a basketball player, but he can kick fast and accurate forward kicks like Bruce Lee. This is very rare no matter where it is placed. It is said that Paul, the university president, once invited Johnson, who was still in college, to dinner. During the dinner He once said that he wanted to see Johnson’s kung fu, and Johnson also showed off a roundabout kick neatly, showing that his martial arts skills are true.

But in addition to martial arts, Johnson is equally good at basketball. In his rookie season in 2007-08, he immediately showed his influence at Wake Forest University. The team has a record of 24 wins and 5 losses.

At this point, Johnson knew he was ready to take on the next level.

“Versatile forward who can change direction off the dribble to get past defenders and protect the rim for rebounds.”
“With thick shoulders and long wingspan, the upper body is very confrontational and can be an excellent defensive player.”
“The outside line is quite unstable, and his skills are not delicate enough, which will limit his development at a higher level.”

Judging from the draft report at the time, the advantage of Johnson is that he can play a variety of roles on the court. He has the ability to drive off the dribble, and he can score with speed and change of direction. He also has the ability to rebound and block and intercept, which can help the team on the defensive end. He even has a good ability to move empty-handed, and can still show a threat without the ball.

But this kind of all-around striker has obvious disadvantages when switching to the NBA. If there is no good three-point shooting, it will greatly limit the development of this type of striker whose height is between 6 feet 7 inches and 6 feet 9 inches. In the modern NBA trend, the extended No. 4 has become a prominent school. Defensively, Johnson’s footsteps are slow, which makes it more difficult for him to do the defensive work of switching defenders, but the penalty area defense is hindered by his lack of height, which makes his timing slightly awkward. This embarrassment is also fully reflected in his career. the first few years.

After being selected by the Bulls with the 16th pick, Johnson’s performance on the basketball court. He played 65 games in his rookie year, but because of his overweight and lazy training attitude, he only averaged 11 minutes per game, scoring only 3.9 points and 2 rebounds. The situation did not improve in the second year, and he was even sent to the Development League for a while. In the end, the Bulls also traded him to the Toronto Raptors of the Great Northern Wilderness in exchange for a first-round pick.

The reason for saying the Great Northern Wilderness is that Toronto was in an embarrassing period of reconstruction at that time. It had not made it to the playoffs for three consecutive seasons. He was almost beaten back to his original form, with only 22 wins in the whole season, but in such an environment, Johnson, who had just arrived, had a lot of room to play. Not only did he start all the remaining 25 games, but he also had a big leap in scoring, rebounding and assisting. .