Remembering Dennis Johnson
Dennis Johnson played 14 seasons in the NBA, including the first four with the Seattle SuperSonics, who selected the former Pepperdine standout with the 29th pick of the 1976 draft.
Johnson blossomed in his third season, averaging 15.9 points, making the All-Star team for the first time and winning the NBA Finals MVP as Seattle beat the Washington Bullets for the 1979 title. The Sonics traded the defensive stalwart to Phoenix for Paul Westphal after the 1979-80 season.
Johnson spent three seasons in Phoenix before being traded to Boston in 1983. He won championships with the Celtics in 1984 and '86.
A six-time member of the NBA All-Defensive first team, Johnson also averaged at least 15 points a game in six of his 14 seasons.
Known for delivering in big games, Johnson famously made a game-winning layup off Larry Bird's steal in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Detroit Pistons.
The steady floor leader retired after the 1989-90 season as the 11th player in NBA history to collect 15,000 points and 5,000 assists. He made five All-Star teams and was All-NBA first team in 1981.
Following stints as an NBA assistant coach and CBA head coach, Johnson served as the Los Angeles Clippers' interim coach after Alvin Gentry was fired during the 2002-03 season. He went 8-16 the rest of the season but was not retained.
Johnson was in his second season coaching the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League when he died after collapsing at the end of a practice.