In the final moments and closing seconds of the games that mattered most, Dennis Johnson always rose to the occasion. During his 14-year NBA career, the defensive-minded point guard played for the Seattle Supersonics, the Phoenix Suns, and the Boston Celtics. Drafted by Seattle in 1976, Johnson helped the Sonics secure the franchise's only NBA championship in 1979 when he scored 32 points in a Game 4 overtime victory and was named Finals MVP in only his third year in the league. His quick hands and sure feet made him a constant threat to steal the ball and lead the fast break, creating instant offense for his teammates. In Game 5 of the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals he cemented his Celtic legacy when he displayed his uncanny court sense and cut to the basket, taking the pass from Larry Bird and putting up a twisting layup at the buzzer to defeat the Pistons. Johnson bonded with teammates Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish to win two NBA championships in 1984 and 1986. When Johnson retired in 1990 he was the 11th player in NBA history to record more than 15,000 points and 5,000 assists.
BornSeptember 18, 1954 San Pedro, CA
DiedFebruary 22, 2007
Professional CareerBoston Celtics Phoenix Suns Seattle Supersonics