Joe Johnson says he wants to finish career in Miami
MIAMI (AP) Joe Johnson's family is already with him in Miami, and if the seven-time All-Star gets his way they will not be moving again anytime soon.
The newly signed Heat forward said Tuesday that he and team President Pat Riley have had discussions about him finishing his career in Miami, one of the reasons why Johnson decided to sign with the team last week.
''The most important thing that Pat told me was that this wasn't just a short-term deal, that he would like for me to finish my career here,'' Johnson said. ''And that's what we're working toward.''
Johnson said he's on a year-to-year basis at this point in his career, but isn't planning on this being his finale.
Johnson was bought out by the Brooklyn Nets last week, cleared waivers Saturday afternoon and signed with the Heat not long afterward. He debuted for Miami in New York on Sunday night, and is making his home debut for the Heat on Tuesday night against Chicago.
His children, ages 9 and 2, accompanied him to town on Monday and Johnson said they were thrilled to get back to warm weather. It was their second time in Miami in a short span - the family also spent the All-Star break in South Florida, and Johnson has spent the past six or seven summers there relaxing and training.
''My kids have a ball here,'' Johnson said. ''They're looking forward to this.''
Johnson once owned a home in Miami, but sold it a couple years ago. He now sounds like he'll need another.
''He's planning on making the transition now,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Johnson has been friends with Heat guard Dwyane Wade for about a decade, and long has raved about some of the things Miami has to offer. Tuesday was his first look at what life inside the arena is like for Heat players, and Johnson was duly impressed.
''I've heard they were very first-class,'' Johnson said. ''But in the past couple days, I've seen a lot of things that I haven't seen in my 15-year career, so I've been impressed.
''How guys are so together and down for one another, that's a great bond and that's how you become a winning team.''