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Angelo Roncalli
02-22-2007, 12:57 PM
Former WCC (Pepperdine) and NBA (Seattle, Boston) great Dennis Johnson collapsed and died today.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2775430

229SintoZag
02-22-2007, 01:19 PM
DJ was my favorite Sonic as a young kid growing up. I had a DJ poster on my wall from about 1979-1982 or so.

Very sad to see great athletes die young. A.E. Housman had a point--even if his poem was directed at younger athletes, guys aged 52 are too young to just collapes.

youreachiteach
02-22-2007, 01:24 PM
sad...

sanfranzagsguy20
02-22-2007, 01:25 PM
Rip

sullyzag66
02-22-2007, 01:44 PM
I was stunned to see this. I remember watching him for the first time in Seattle in a pre-season Sonic scrimmage. I was immediately impressed with his defensive ability and picked him over another rookie, Wilkerson, as a future Sonic standout. I just saw him in an interview not that long ago.

Akzag
02-22-2007, 01:55 PM
My Johnson story ...

I was covering the team for the Bulletin. This was when pretty much only Blanchette was covering the team and any other print media had a "table" about ten rows up. About 20 minutes before tip, a murmur swept through the "crowd" and looking down to the door coming on to the main floor, I saw Dennis Johnson. He was already surrounded by a dozen or so autograph seekers, so it took him awhile to get to the bleachers.

He ended up choosing to sit right next to me at "our" otherwise empty seats. He was there scouting for the Celtics - though he politely declined to comment on which player he was primarily there to see (it was Doug Christie).

Throughout the game and intermission, well-wishers and autograph hounds stopped by to talk with him. It became apparent early on that he did not have a pen on him, as he was only using a pencil to chart / rate / etc. on official Celtic shot and other evaluating charts. So we came to an unspoken understanding that when an autograph was requested, we switched writing utensils so he could sign with my pen while I continued my note taking with his pencil.

He was a complete gentleman the entire game, including a complimentary remark on how well the out-matched Zags competed. I never did bother to ask him for an autograph for myself as I treasured the moment (and story) more than I ever could an signature.

RIP DJ ....

BobZag
02-22-2007, 02:16 PM
Way too early to hear this. I remember Dennis well, from his freckly face to his sweet jumper. RIP, DJ.

hls97
02-22-2007, 02:44 PM
I was a huge DJ fan in '79 and then continued to be a fan after he moved to Boston and teamed with Bird. He was a solid player, not flashy, but real solid. I will miss him.

23dpg
02-22-2007, 02:45 PM
:( Growing up in Spokane in the late 70s, I was a huge Sonics fan. DJ and Gus were my 2 guys. I still remember being a freshman in HS, having to be at school for a conf in the evening. It was during the Sonics Championship year and a group of of guys had a transistor radio that we snuck in to listen to the game.

very sad

RebornZag
02-22-2007, 03:00 PM
I just hate news like this!!! Too sudden. One of my all-time favorite basketball players, mostly because of his defense. But he was also a guy that made his life successful by hard work. He never even played basketball until his Jr. year in High School. Went to a small college. When he first came into the NBA he couldn't shoot past about 12 feet, and he really worked hard on changing that. And he did. When coaching I always talked about Dennis Johnson to my players.....Whew!!! sad! My prayers go out to his family and all those who loved him and will miss him!