Friday, February 23, 2007
Dennis Johnson skywalking in 1979, with the Seattle SuperSonics.
He passed away yesterday outside a basketball court in Austin, stricken by an imponderable illness for an athlete who spent most of his life in top aerobic condition.
In 1987, against the Detroit Pistons in game 5 of the conference finals, "Bird stole the ball!" but it was DJ who took the feed and put in the layup that won the game and broke the Pistons' backs.
He won three rings, one with Seattle and two in Boston, and was the MVP of the Finals in '79. Larry Bird said he was the best he'd ever played with.
Considering Bird played with HoFers McHale, Parrish, and Walton, that's a pretty high compliment.
Following his playing days he became a coach, for a short time with the Clippers in Los Angeles but with the Austin Toros of the Developmental League when he suddenly collapsed following the team's practice. The Statesman has more on the life of Dennis Johnson.
Rest in peace, DJ.