James Johnson on joining the Pacers, his competitive spirit and black belt being the family discipline
The Pacers signed Johnson to a non-guaranteed deal as they try to find the right veteran presence for a young locker room.
As the Pacers continue to tweak and build out their roster, there is a focus on veteran leadership. Every team needs at least one player who has been there and experienced the highs and lows of being an NBA player.
Someone who not only knows the game and the terminology on the floor, but also how to work with different coaches, build team chemistry and balance a home life at the same time.
The youthful Pacers, who are headed for a rebuilding season focused on player development, signed veteran forward James Johnson to a contract last week. He’s been in the NBA since 2009, most recently with the Brooklyn Nets last season averaging averaged 5.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.
“We are very young,” Pacers GM Chad Buchanan said on Wednesday. “It’s going to be one of those years where we’re going to have some high and lows, but we’re excited about what we’ve seen so far.”
Johnson, 35, is not the only player under consideration for this role, which has been a glaring hole for several years within this organization. They’ve lacked accountability, a player who is willing to speak up and demand more. A leader and mentor like David West, Al Jefferson and Thad Young.