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Eddie Johnson, 17-Year NBA Player

JR Sports Brief / JR
The Truth Network Radio
February 2, 2024 7:46 pm

Eddie Johnson, 17-Year NBA Player

JR Sports Brief / JR

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February 2, 2024 7:46 pm

Eddie Johnson joined JR to discuss the future of the Lakers with LeBron James and which players were snubbed from the NBA All-Star Game. 

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Seaside for details. It's the JR Sport Brief Show here with you on CBS Sports Radio. So much going on in the world of the NBA, we had to bring on someone who is a 17-year NBA vet, someone who picked up a six-man-of-the-year award, someone who is currently an analyst for the Phoenix Suns. And also a host afternoon's NBA Today on SiriusXM with Justin Termini as my main man, Eddie Johnson. Eddie, thank you for taking the time to hop on. My pleasure. My pleasure. Anytime. Thank you. So much going on in the NBA.

I want to get into the All-Star and your Suns and everything going on. But I guess one of the largest stories that we heard about today, I guess if you want to consider it one, was just a confirmation that LeBron James isn't going anywhere from the Lakers. Is this even news? Like, did anybody think he was really going anywhere?

What do you think about this? I think it's always news when it comes to a player of LeBron's stature and then his age. Like, his hunger to win is why he's still playing.

People got to understand that, right? I mean, the reason he's playing is not for the money. The dude's a billionaire. He's probably losing money by all the time he's got to spend in a uniform right now because he could be out doing all kinds of things, right? So the reason why he's playing is one, love of the game. And two, he wants to win. Is he chasing the legacy of getting six championships? Probably. But I think it's the love of the game. And then you play the game to win the game. And so to me, it's not a shock that this is up right now and people are talking about it because if I was him, I would think about it.

Why not? I mean, Karl Malone at the end of his career, because he didn't win titles, what did he do? He moved on. What did Gary Payton do? He moved on. So it's not unusual.

And so I don't really see it as a shock. Eddie Johnson is here with us, the J.R. Sportbree Show on CBS Sports Radio. Knowing how the Lakers roster is currently constructed, we can take a look at the trade deadline coming up on Thursday.

Do you think there's a high possibility of him picking up another ring in Los Angeles or having it have to be elsewhere, even if it's next season? I said before the season that I thought this team would be an issue. I really like what they did in the offseason.

I think a lot of people did. It just hasn't flowed correctly. Sometimes, you know, the chemistry just doesn't work despite the names on the roster. And so I'm sure it's disappointment there. But yeah, I think they're being very aggressive to try to get players.

You know, Yonta Murray was obviously a name that was out there. It doesn't look like that's going to go through. But they have like guys on their roster that I think other teams would take based on contract, based on the fact that they can play. And then them getting rid of a player that maybe they don't want to pay in the long run. So that option is there for the Lakers without a doubt.

And then finally, that guy probably wants to go to L.A. who does not want to go and play in L.A. So that said, they're always going to do something at the break. And they've done it the last two, three years. So I expect them to make a deal. I don't know who it's going to be, but I'm sure they're going to add to it.

And if they do add to it the right piece, then they are a problem. People got to remember, they went to the conference finals last year. Oh, OK, they got swept. But every game they could have won.

Like every game. So for me, it's a dangerous team still. And I wouldn't want to play them in the first round of the playoff. Well, Eddie, you talk about a dangerous team. You call their games the Phoenix Suns, man. We see Duran and Beal and Devin Booker, you know, out there. We've seen them out there for a good amount of games now. What is the team looking like? We know depth was a concern earlier on in the year.

What is your thoughts on what they've been able to do so far? Just getting reps. Like when you bring, I don't care how good the roster looks, man, you got to have reps. This game is, basketball is easy, right?

It's easy. Pick up a ball, you go out and shoot. Problem is you got opponents facing you that's trying to stop you from shooting, right? Pushing you to spots you're uncomfortable with. And now you've got to have teammates that understand how to get you open.

Understand the nuances of the game in regards to your game and your skill set. Well, those things take time, especially three tremendously gifted players that have not had a ton of time on the court together. So it's been a work in progress, but I think what you're starting to see is really the fruits of their labor here lately and the consistency and the understanding that when one guy has it going, the other guy becomes a facilitator. Case in point, the backing forward now in regards to what really started with Bradley Beal a couple of weeks ago in L.A. He had 37 against the Lakers and they defer to him. And then Devin gets high. You defer to him. Then KD got high. Back to back 40 point games. You defer to him.

Then Devin comes back with a 50 and a 60 point game. So they've learned to understand and stay with the hot hand. And then that hot hand has learned to understand that it doesn't mean that you take every shot now.

It just means that now you created a fire over here. They have to adjust. Now get the ball to somebody else and let them add to the fire that you started. And I think they have started to understand that.

And so for me right now. They got a rebound. OK. And they can't turn it over. And if they do those two things. They're going to beat you because nobody's going to outscore them if they get the same amount of field goal attempts that the other team gets.

No one's going to do that. They shoot the ball too well. And I think that's been the key. NBA champs. I mean, we got a lot of parody in the league right now. It's kind of wide open.

Could we see the Suns? They have enough to be champs outside of those big three. Well, I think, again, I think they're going to tweak some things. I think this trade deadline or buyout period, they're looking for certain pieces. And I think more so physicality, maybe a physical ball player that they can get, maybe got bought out. Maybe they can get in a small deal because obviously they can't make a big trade based on that second apron and the salary cap and all of that and having three max players on their roster.

But they're going to need to tweak it or the guys that they have going to step up their game. I feel sorry for Bobo because Bobo waited all year to have a chance in the rotation. He finally got it. He was playing well.

And then he turned his ankle. And so I think it's just still work in progress with them to see what guys can step up. And so that's the issue right now. Eddie Johnson is here with us. The chair of sport re-show on CBS Sports Radio. You talk about injuries. We know about Joel Embiid having his knee evaluated. What's going to be the proper procedure to get him back on the court and maybe extend his career? What do you think this means for the Sixers? You think we even see him back this year? Well, I think Joel Embiid, I think if he can be back, he'll be back.

That's unfortunate. And I hope it's not that bad that's going to hold him out like that. I mean, you see what they did last night. You saw Tyrese Maxey, man. This dude's special, man. Like, given the 1A status on that team, he dropped it.

Like, you know, what is it, 51. I don't want to shortchange him. But you see what he can do.

I think you see their team and how it's made up. And so he's watching that, man. And I know he's going to try his best to get back. But that's a devastating injury, man.

It's just, you know, it's the labors of the war, man. It's an 82-game marathon. And unfortunately, man, that's what makes the NBA so great.

Because think about it this way. Say if the NBA was a college season, then 30 teams would be a waste of time, right? So Denver, Boston, all these teams would be right there every year. But the marathon now throws a little derivative in it because now you got injured.

Now you got fatigued. Last year, Denver had to go all the way, 82 games, all the way into June. So now they come back this year, they're a little fatigued.

Now you can take advantage of them. That's why you haven't had a back-to-back champion in five years. So the 82-game marathon is important, but it's unfortunate because it's going to be some guys that's going to fall to the perils of playing in a game that is 48 minutes and you got to do it 82 times.

Yeah, former NBA veteran Eddie Johnson, current Suns analyst Eddie Johnson is here with us. Man, you went through the games. You played here domestically.

You played out in Greece with Olympiacos. You know the game and you know the grind. Are we kind of stuck in this era that we're in now? You know, even talking about load management, it's kind of like passe, but it just seems like the players make so much money.

Are we ever going back to, hey, I'm going to go out there and get this done or is everybody too comfortable with the checks? Believe it or not, it's going to have to start in the grassroots program. That's where it's going to have to start to change the mindset of these athletes who I think along the way kind of lose the love of the game. It's AAU, they're playing five, six games in a freaking weekend. Stop. You know, it's like, give them, put them in motion to how the game is supposed to be appreciated and attacked. If you're playing four or five games in a weekend, you're not playing hard every game. It's no way. Like, I'm going to protect them there. How are you going to play lights out five times straight over a period of two days? Really?

It's not going to work. And then you got the guys that, look, I think it's a lot of great AAU coaches, but it's a lot of guys that's just there for the yes man. They're just there to get that balloon payment at the end.

You know, that relationship. And so they don't really give them the answers that they need. They're always yes, yes, yes.

They never really put them in their place when they're wrong. And I think a lot of these kids get harmed by that. That's why. They come to the NBA and they come to the NBA, what? After one year of college. And so now that mental toughness, that understanding that they're going to have to deal with playing against grown men now, one year removed from high school, and now you're playing against grown men. It's a huge adjustment to make. And I think the game has changed because of that. Coaches have had to really change how they view the game and how they coach the game because of the really immaturity of players. Can't throw the ball into the post. Come on, man, you see it.

See it every night. They struggled to even throw the ball in. One dribble left, one dribble right.

Get a better angle. All the things that you would have been taught in college, they have missed out on. Greg Popovich came out the other day and said it. He said the fundamentals of these young players, you know, are not at the level that they should be. And I think that's where it starts.

And I think if we do that, we'll have a better game. Eddie Johnson here with us, the J.R. Sport Researcher on CBS Sports Radio to start to wrap things up here. Some of the most talented and developed players. We know that the rosters for the All-Star were announced yesterday. We got the reserves. There's some players that got left off. Guys like Sabonis and the Trae Youngs of the world. What are your thoughts on how the rosters have been constructed?

We know it's an exhibition. What do you think about someone like Sabonis not making the squad? Well, I heard for him. I heard for him. I heard for De'Aaron Fox.

You know, I heard for a lot of guys, man, that's having tremendous years that they're not going to sniff it. You know, Oklahoma City. I mean, should they have two players on there? Probably. Minnesota does.

Like, yeah. I mean, the Knicks got two on there at the All-Star game. Boston got there too. Probably should have gotten three. We saw one year where Atlanta had four. So don't tell me that that's not doable.

I really, like, want to reward Winnie. Like, we've all heard these excuses. And I epitomize the frustration of an All-Star game. Like, for a period of time after my career, I was the highest-scoring player in the history of the game, never making the All-Star game. And people were like, I got attention during the All-Star break, and people brought that up. Now, Jamal Crawford's going to get that attention.

But it's not great attention. I guess many years I should have made it. One year, I was averaging over 22 points off the bench in 26 minutes.

Now, 26 minutes, man! And I still can't make it shooting 50%. 41 from 3 can't make it? Pat Riley said, well, what does it say about our game if a guy that plays off the bench makes the All-Star team?

Well, probably I shouldn't be on the damn bench. So I get it, man. The frustration, man, of not making it. But, you know, what those guys have to do, man, is just move forward and keep fighting the fight. Because there's players on that team that, you know, they're losing, and they made the All-Star team. But yet, they'll change it. They'll change the goalposts, you know, to make the, you know, well, you know, that great, you know, legacy. No, no, no, no, no. You get rewarded for winning.

That's what we've been taught. And so I'm not going to say names. You can run off names, right? Guys that's on losing teams right now in the All-Star game.

I don't buy that. Eddie Johnson, certainly with all your experience. Six man, 17 years, winning a championship out with Olympiacos. Man, I appreciate the time. I know you're on Sunstv, you're podcasting, you're on Sirius, you're doing it all. Where can people follow you in all your good work, man? Jumpshot 8, easy.

Jumpshot 8 on my Twitter, on my Instagram, and they know I'm very active on there in my responses. You know, J.R., it used to be a time as an athlete, you had to watch what you had to say back, you know, to these guys that I call them. I call them water boys, couch potatoes, okay? And if you know the game like you do, there's no way you're in that category. But I want people to understand and learn the game before they get on social networking and start criticizing guys that's been in the game a long time.

Do your homework first. And I applaud you for what you do, man. That's why I enjoy being on the show and that's where they can reach me. Well, thank you, Eddie. I appreciate it. Next time, we got to dive a little bit deeper into former athletes who have jumped into media because that's a whole different conversation. We're going to talk about that next time, Eddie.

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Well, it sounds like a clear case of scrotus to Titus. To put it simply, you need to upgrade your underwear to Tommy John. They're soft, breathable and lightweight. Please tell me they're moisture wicking.

Naturally. Plus they stretch and move with you so you can keep your mind and everything else clear. This solves everything. Not quite everything, but the thousands of five star reviews and Tommy John's best pair you'll ever wear or its free guarantee will give you the peace of mind you clearly need. Thanks, Dr. Balzac. You can get 20% off your first order right now at Tommy John dot com slash victory. How does that make you feel? Now can we talk about my- Oh, I'm sorry. Our time is up. But remember, 20% off your first order at Tommy John dot com slash Victory. Tommy John dot com slash Victory. Seaside for details.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-08 14:31:45 / 2024-02-08 14:40:02 / 8

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