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Dennis Johnson was very, very good

Aug 6, 2010, 10:30 PM EDT

There are plenty of young NBA fans out there — probably even young Celtics fans — who are saying “Dennis Johnson who?”

He is maybe the best baller ever to come out of the prettiest college campus in America, Pepperdine. He was the point guard for much of the 1980s Celtics run, the teams known for Larry Bird, but a lot of the times he was open for the shot it was DJ who got him the ball. DJ was one of the best at drawing contact and getting off the shot. He played fearlessly. He was clutch. He was intense. He was a Celtic.

He passed away all too early, at the age of 52 (three years ago). He goes into the Hall of Fame next week posthumously, but many of his friends will be there remembering and celebrating him.

  1. Jimsjam33 - Aug 6, 2010 at 11:30 PM

    I had a conversation with Dennis Johnson just a month or two before he died . He lived in Victorville , California , a desert town just north east of Los Angeles , about 70 miles away . He was at a classic car show at Victor Valley College . I recognized him as the hated Dennis Johnson of Celtic fame , hated only because I’m a Laker fan of course. I respected him nevertheless for his playing ability for one of the best teams in NBA history .
    I said ” Your Dennis Johnson are’nt you . ” He gave me a snarled looked and turned away . I yelled out that I wanted to talk to him about Keith Closs , a Clipper Center in 1998-99 . Johnson was assistant coach then . He turned around and said , ” What about him ? He went on to relate that Closs threw away a NBA career by becoming a thug . I went to thank him for the info and giving me his time . He is a deserving Hall of Famer in my book !

  2. MissingNBAInSeattle - Aug 7, 2010 at 12:55 AM

    Dennis Johnson was a key reason the Seattle Supersonics won their (only) title in 1979, too.
    DJ, we hardly knew ye. Glad to see the HOF recognition for you.

  3. Anonymous - Aug 7, 2010 at 11:55 AM

    Stud Helped slow down Showtime and Magic in the 80’s, read any book involving Larry Bird and he can’t heap enough praise on what DJ meant to that team.

  4. Rosalie Troy - Aug 9, 2010 at 10:45 PM

    It has taken much too long to enshrine DJ in the Basketball Hall of Fame. It is a shame that he is not here to bask in the glory that he so richly deserves. I am proud to call myself a Boston Celtic fan who has followed the Celtics for ages. No one deserves this honor more than DJ. I am so glad it is finally happening.

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