View Full Version : Former Celtic guard Johnson dies suddenly at 52

02-22-2007, 04:43 PM
AUSTIN, Texas -- Former NBA star Dennis Johnson died Thursday, the Travis County Medical Examiner's Office said. He was 52.

Johnson, who was part of three NBA champions with the Boston Celtics and one with the Seattle SuperSonics, had been coaching the Austin Toros of the NBA Developmental League.

The cause of death is not known.

"He will be autopsied," said Mayra Freeman, a spokeswoman for the Travis County Medical Examiner's Office.

Johnson was the MVP of the 1979 NBA Finals, averaging 22.6 points as the Sonics beat the Washington Bullets in five games.

After a brief stint with the Phoenix Suns, Johnson rejoined the Celtics, where he teamed with Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Danny Ainge and Robert Parish for a glorious run in the 1980s that saw Boston win the 1984 and 1986 NBA championships and a reach a third, losing the Lakers in 1987.

Known throughout the league as "DJ," Johnson played in five NBA All-Star Games and was named to the All-Defensive First Team six times.

In 14 NBA seasons, he scored 15,535 points (a 14.1 points-per-game average) and averaged 17.3 points in 180 playoff games.

02-22-2007, 04:44 PM
very sad day for me today, I got to meet and talk with him many times down here in
Austin; great guy, very approachable....

Larry Bird said on many occasions that DJ was the best player he ever played with.

02-22-2007, 06:26 PM
Way too young. This is very sad. He was a hell of a player, and from what I understand, a very good guy too.