Amir Johnson is one of the most ego-less players in the NBA.
How else can you explain what the 14th-year veteran approached the 76ers coaching staff about doing? The seldom-used backup center asked if he could play for the team’s NBA G-League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats. His thought was the Blue Coats game against the Maine Red Claws at the 76ers Arena in Wilmington, Del. will help get him into game shape. Plus, he wanted to play in a basketball game, regardless of the level.
The Sixers granted his wish, and he finished with 15 points, seven rebounds a block in the Blue Coats’ 112-109 overtime loss during 76ers Night at the arena.
It was the 31-year-old’s first game action since the Sixers’ 126-110 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Jan. 26 at the Pepsi Center. He played due to Joel Embiid, Wilson Chandler, and Jimmy Butler all being sidelined.
Johnson finished with five points, four rebounds, one steal and one block in 19 minutes, 7 seconds off the bench. The Sixers (38-21) have played nine games since then.
He’s averaging 3.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 9.6 minutes in 37 games with two starts.
The Sixers will recall him from the Blue Coats following Friday night’s game. He will be with the NBA team for Saturday’s 1 p.m. matchup against Portland Trail Blazers at the Wells Fargo Center.
Johnson is one of the team’s leaders and a great locker-room guy despite rarely playing.
Johnson is the even-keeled veteran whose locker in the Wells Fargo Center is right before the hallway that leads to the coaches offices and showers.