Who is Ivan Johnson? A question that most of us wanted to be answered after he single handedly kept the Hawks in an overtime thriller against the Miami Heat last Thursday. In 21 minutes of play, Johnson shot 71 % from the field, scoring 13 points and 4 rebounds. Unfortunately his time was cut short due to a quick 6 fouls, but his performance was inspiring nonetheless. Johnson came out of nowhere to give Atlanta the spark they needed to stay in the game against arguably the best team in the NBA.
What is most fascinating about Ivan Johnson is that no one seemed to be able to find out any concrete information about him. Ivan originally committed to play for Cincinnati, but later decided to started his collegiate career at the University of Oregon, then transferring to Los Angeles Southwest Junior College, then finally Cisco Junior College.
After college, Johnson went undrafted and went on to play in the NBA D-League, where he was actually quite a productive player averaging 18/7 rebounds per game, but never had any serious interest from the
NBA. Johnson is not your ordinary player, think Ndamakong Suh temper. He was benched multiple times in his 94 game career for having too many technical fouls. The funniest story about his anger problems is that he has a lifetime ban in the Korean League for flipping off a referee. There’s no telling if he is a one hit wonder, or can be a consistent producer, but obviously this 27 year old rookie (not a typo) has some skills.