Dennis Johnson

Dennis Johnson

Dennis Johnson: A Brief Biography

Dennis Wayne Johnson is a retired American professional basketball player for the National Basketball Association's (NBA). Nicknamed “DJ”, Johnson is a 3-Time NBA Champion, 1979 NBA Finals MVP, 5-Time NBA All-Star, 1981 All-NBA First Team, and 6-Time All-NBA Defensive First Team. Playing at the Los Angeles Harbor College, he developed into a promising young guard averaging 18.3 points and 12.0 rebounds per game and led Harbour to a college junior state title.

Johnson played his college basketball at Pepperdine University. He developed a reputation for tough defense while averaging 15.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game for the one season he played there. Making himself available for the 1976 NBA Draft, Johnson was drafted in the second round as the 29th overall pick by the Seattle SuperSonics.

Johnson overcame from early struggles to have a successful NBA career and develop himself into the best two-way players in the game. His greatest accomplishments came in the 1979 NBA Finals where he averaged close to 23 points to go along with 6 rebounds and 6 assists. He scored 32 points in Game 4 overtime and was named the Finals MVP with this spectacular performance. It was in this season that Johnson established himself as one of the best guards in the league.

After a short stint with the Phoenix Suns, Johnson joined the Big 3 (Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish) in Boston Celtics and won 2 more titles. Johnson was an integral part of the intense Lakers-Celtics rivalry of the 1980s. He played smothering defense on the legendary Magic Johnson, limiting him to a sub-average 17 points in the last four games of the 1984 NBA Finals. Johnson’s defense was partly responsible for several of the Laker point guard's errors late into games 2, 4 and 7.

Johnson retired in the 1991 season after the Celtics didn’t offer him a new contract. Considered as one of the most underrated player of all time, Johnson made several crucial plays and was known as a clutch player in NBA playoffs history. He was lauded by the legendary Magic Johnson as "the best backcourt defender of all-time" and by another legend in Larry Bird as the best teammate he ever had. In 2010, Johnson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball.

App download animated image Get the free App now