John Johnson (basketball)

John Howard Getty "J. J." Johnson (October 18, 1947 – January 7, 2016) was an American professional basketball player.

John Johnson
John Johnson Iowa.jpg
Johnson with the Iowa Hawkeyes, c. 1970
Personal information
Born(1947-10-18)October 18, 1947
Carthage, Mississippi
DiedJanuary 7, 2016(2016-01-07) (aged 68)
San Jose, California
Listed height6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High schoolMessmer (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
NBA draft1970 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7th overall
Selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers
Playing career1970–1982
PositionSmall forward
Number32, 27, 34
Career history
19701973Cleveland Cavaliers
19731975Portland Trail Blazers
19751977Houston Rockets
19771982Seattle SuperSonics
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points11,200 (12.9 ppg)
Rebounds4,778 (5.5 rpg)
Assists3,285 (3.8 apg)
Stats at

High school and college careerEdit

Johnson played high school basketball at Messmer High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As a senior, he helped lead Messmer to the Wisconsin state title in 1966.[1]

Johnson, a 6’7" small forward, then played for Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming and for the University of Iowa. He set an Iowa record for points in a season during his senior year, when he averaged 27.9 points per game.[2] Johnson also holds Iowa's top two scoring performances with 49 and 46 points.[3] Johnson played two seasons for Iowa, leading the team in scoring and rebounding both seasons.[3] Johnson, accompanied by later Seattle Sonics teammate Fred Brown, guided Iowa to a 14-0 Big Ten record and NCAA tournament berth in 1970.

Professional careerEdit

Johnson was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the 7th pick of the 1970 NBA Draft. Johnson was also selected in the 1970 ABA Draft by the Texas Chaparrals.[4] He was the first Cavaliers player to play in an NBA All Star Game.

In 1977, Johnson was traded to the Seattle SuperSonics and was reunited with former Iowa Hawkeye teammate Fred Brown. Johnson was a key contributor for Seattle, who went to the NBA Finals in 1977–78 and won an NBA championship in 1978–79 while possibly becoming the first point forward in league history as he was the player who more often set the plays for the Sonics rather than their star guards Dennis Johnson and Gus Williams.

Overall, Johnson had a productive 12-year NBA career with four teams, making two NBA All-Star Game appearances and scoring 11,200 career points. He ended his NBA career in Seattle in the early 1980s.

Later yearsEdit

Johnson moved from Seattle to San Jose when his son Mitch was recruited to play for Stanford. His son played on the Stanford University basketball team from 2005 to 2008.[5] On January 7, 2016, at age 68, John Johnson died in his San Jose residence of undetermined cause.


  1. ^ "John Johnson, 68, All-Star Forward in N.B.A.", The New York Times, January 11, 2015
  2. ^ " Season Individual Leaders". Archived from the original on November 18, 2007. Retrieved May 24, 2008.
  3. ^ a b Dochterman, Scott (January 8, 2016), "Former Iowa basketball star John Johnson dies", The Gazette
  4. ^ 1970 ABA Draft at Archived July 20, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Former SuperSonics All-Star Johnny Johnson dies in San Jose", San Jose Mercury News, January 8, 2016

External linksEdit