Johnny Johnson, Former NBA Player, Dies at Age 68

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2016

The ball swishes through the hoop in an NBA basketball game between the Houston Rockets and the Denver Nuggets Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Pat Sullivan/Associated Press

Johnny Johnson, a two-time NBA All-Star who helped the Seattle SuperSonics capture the 1978-79 NBA title, has died at 68 years old, according to the Cleveland Cavaliers' official Twitter account.Β 

The Bay Area News Group reported Johnson's cause of death is not yet known.Β His godson, John Herndon, told the Bay Area News Group that Johnson "just didn't wake up."

Selected seventh overall by the Cavaliers in the 1970 NBA draft, Johnson occupies a special place in franchise history since he was the team's top draft pick prior to its inaugural season.

Johnson qualified as an All-Star during his first two years in Cleveland and was the first player in franchise history to make a trip to the midseason exhibition. According to the Cavaliers' Twitter account, Johnson also recorded the team's first five triple-doubles.

After three seasons, Cleveland dealt Johnson to the Portland Trail Blazers. He proceeded to spend the next two-and-a-half years in the Pacific Northwest before the team shipped him to the Houston Rockets shortly after the 1975-76 season opened.

Following a short stint in Houston, Johnson landed with the SuperSonicsβ€”who won 50 or more games in three of his four seasons with the club.

Johnson finished his 12-year career with averages of 12.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 0.8 steals per game.Β 


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