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RIP John Johnson: member of Sonics' '79 title team, dead at 68

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Songbird, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    By Percy Allen
    Seattle Times staff reporter

    John Johnson, who spent five seasons in Seattle and helped the Sonics win their only NBA title, has died at age 68.

    The San Jose Mercury News reported that Johnson died this week at his Bay Area home, and that the cause was unknown, according to his godson, John Herndon.

    “He just didn’t wake up,” Herndon told the Mercury News.

    Johnson averaged 11 points, 5 rebounds and 4.4 assists for the Sonics during their NBA championship season in 1978-79.

    “When I coached him I would tell Gus (Johnson), Dennis (Johnson) and Fred (Brown) if JJ got the ball on a rebound you, guys take off because he will find you,” said Lenny Wilkens, the Hall of Famer and former Sonics coach. “He could do that, and he did it very well.

    “Before they coined the phrase point-forward, he was like that. I have great memories.”

    Former Sonic John Johnson dies at 68
    (Forward John Johnson (27) averaged 11.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game during the Sonics’ title-winning season in 1978-79. (Photo courtesy of Seattle SuperSonics)
  2. Blitz

    Blitz Active Member

    That SuperSonics team won it all in my junior high years and I was employed at time as a sitter for some 5-6-7- year olds across the street. It was cool because that family was getting HBO, Cinemax and Showtime on their cable plan. If the nights fell properly, you might get a Red Shoe Diaries episode after the kids were put down. Anyway, I can remember the Sonics having to rally throughout those whole playoffs. Vs. Phoenix they were down 3-2 and barely squeaked out wins in the final two, turning back the likes of Truck and Westphal and sweet-shooting Walter Davis. The Sonics also lost game 1 or 2 of the Finals series. Rest in peace, John Johnson.
  3. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    I have vague memories of John Johnson. I was 8 when the Sonics won it, and that's about the time I got into the Lakers so I kind of remember the remnants of that team.
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