Rockets scout BJ Johnson, widely respected in the NBA, dies in bike accident
It’s a sad day for the Houston Rockets organization. Longtime scout Brent “B.J” Johnson tragically passed away on Thursday evening after a fatal motorbike accident. Johnson was 65.
In his time in the league, Johnson was widely respected by his peers and had a knack of being well-liked by almost anyone he encounters. He was known for being a stand-up, genuine guy who paved the way for young talent and helped them get into the league as a personnel scout. Johnson was one of the longest-tenured members of the Rockets organization and has been with the team for almost three decades since he was hired in 1994.
He was also part of the Houston Rockets team in 1995 that won a championship under Rudy Tomjanovich which featured Hall of Famers Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon.
Johnson was a real student of the game of basketball and has been a huge backroom figure for the Rockets over the past few decades. Through his skill and passion for the game, he remained in the team amid changes within the organization and the team. It’s also worth noting that he made a ton of friends along the way.
“BJ Was always true to himself.” his wife Claudette Johnson said (via Houston Chronicle). “He never met a stranger, never. He never shut his mouth. He talked forever. Everybody was family to him. It wasn’t about the game, it was about loving the game, which he did with all his heart. He loved the game of basketball, loved his job.”
Members of the NBA community expressed their grief on the sudden passing of Johnson, a fixture for the Rockets and in the league itself:
One of the most genuine people in NBA basketball passed tonight RIP BJ Johnson !!!!
— Rudy Gay (@RudyGay) October 16, 2020
Nooooooo not BJ Johnson. When I was an unproven rookie, he helped give me a lot of confidence that I had a bright future, even when I didn’t see it.. I wasn’t even on his team. He always had some words of encouragement, or just kept it real with me. Prayers to his family .
— Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) October 16, 2020
I’m stunned. Absolutely stunned. First Vaughn McClure and now BJ Johnson. BJ was one of the most generous, caring and humorous people I ever met with one of the greatest basketball IQs to boot. My prayers and condolences to his wife and his children.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) October 16, 2020
Stunned and saddened about longtime Rockets scout BJ Johnson’s death. You won’t find a friendlier person in the NBA. So many players and scouts credited Johnson for helping them find their way in the league.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) October 16, 2020
Crushing loss for the NBA, Houston Rockets and the basketball community: Rockets scout BJ Johnson has passed away. BJ was a standup and genuine human and a basketball purist all over the world.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 16, 2020
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