Mike D’Antoni jokes Joe Johnson leaving cost him at least two championships
Joe Johnson was reunited with his former coach Mike D’Antoni last night as his new team, the Houston Rockets, took down the Sacramento Kings, making it 10 in a row to claim sole possession of the best record in the league.
Prior to the start of the game, D’Antoni went on to talk about Johnson, dropping a little quick jab at him before putting him out on the floor.
“He left me in Phoenix, cost me at least two championships.” D’Antoni said jokingly, according to Mark Berman of Fox26 News. “Great to be reunited with him. He’s really good. He’s professional, and great in the locker room.”
Johnson was part of a well-balanced Phoenix Suns team that brought D’Antoni to prominence as one of the best offensive minds in pro basketball. A star-studded roster highlighted by two-time MVP Steve Nash featured the likes of Shawn Marion, Amar’e Stoudemire, Quentin Richardson, and Johnson — producing one of the most exciting shows in basketball in the mid-to-late 2000s.
Johnson didn’t take long to check in and earn it, playing for 31 minutes, putting up nine points and three rebounds, without having had a practice with the team.
D’Antoni went off of mere familiarity with his game for this tilt against the Kings, and it showed in part due to Johnson’s 2-of-9 shooting night, but as the two get acquainted with each other, it’s only a matter of time before Pringles and Iso Joe regain the magic from their former years, now closer than ever to fighting for a title.
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