Joe Johnson is one of the NBA’s more unique players. He possesses a lot of the skills and physical gifts that you would expect to see from an All-Star. He has led teams past the first round of the playoffs. He has consistently been one of the five best players in the league at his position over the last few years. And yet, because of the massive, ridiculous contract the Atlanta Hawks decided to give him, he is also one of The Association's more ridiculed personalities.
The negative perception that some seem to have towards Johnson may explain why they assumed the worst after he got traded to the Brooklyn Nets this summer. In the direct aftermath of that deal, a lot of people, for whatever reason, speculated that he had demanded the deal. That Johnson, the guy who got almost $120 million from Atlanta, forced his way out of town.
Yeah, that’s not how it went. On Thursday, Johnson did his best to clear things up.
"Everybody thinks I made this trade,” he told ESPN. “I had nothing to do with it.
“Every time I run into somebody when I’m in Atlanta, they ask me, ‘Why did you leave?’
I didn’t have nothing to do with it. I’m just glad that I came to a great organization and a team who wants to win.”
The Hawks made this move because it was the right move to make – not because Johnson told them to do it. They are now in cost-saving mode, and having a guy who is as overpaid as Johnson obviously is doesn’t jive with that game plan.
Nobody deserves blame for what happened. Nobody deserves to get booed. This is a win-win for all involved.