On March 22nd, 2000, faced with Jason Kidd’s season-ending injury, Phoenix Suns decided to call up retired All-Star point guard Kevin Johnson.
Then a 34-year veteran, who originally retired after 1997-98 season, accepted the call from Suns’ GM Jerry Colangelo and appeared in six regular-season and nine playoff games.
6’1” veteran point guard known for his ‘killer’ cross-over performed admirably averaging 6.7 points, 4.0 assists, and 2.7 boards in 18.8 minutes per outing during the regular season and 3.2 points, 2.6 assists and 1.4 boards in 14.3 minutes per outing during 2000 NBA play-off.
Phoenix lost by 4-1 to the eventual NBA champion L.A. Lakers in Western Conference semis but KJ, who was interestingly enough the key-factor in Suns’ elimination of the Lakers exactly one decade before (1990), provided some steady veteran leadership off the Suns’ bench.
Today, Johnson’s career average of 9.2 assists per game ranks fourth in NBA history.
Murray A. is BN contributor and the author of the book about legendary NBA guard Drazen Petrovic ‘Drazen – The Years of the Dragon’ which can be found here.