James Johnson scored a game-high 28 in his National Basketball Development League debut with the Iowa Energy against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Friday. He was designated for assignment by the Bulls at his request on Thursday.
In the Energy's 138-119 win (wow, bad!), JJ shot 10-for-14 from the field and 8-for-8 at the FT line, but in typical fashion also had three turnovers and four personal fouls to go with only four rebounds.
That said, he reportedly used his speed and energy to be on the attack,
Mark Emmert reported after the game for the Des Moines Register:
Johnson, a 6-foot-9, 245-pound forward making his first
D-League appearance after requesting to be assigned here by the Chicago
Bulls, was overpowering, scoring 28 points primarily by blowing by
bigger defenders ill-equipped to handle his speed.
"I came to Iowa with a chip on my shoulder," the Wake Forest product
said. "I wanted to play hard, I wanted to show everybody it's not about
the money, it's about basketball.
"These guys welcomed me with open arms. Most people, when you get a new
guy, they still want to do their own thing. They let me ride with them."
No one's questioned JJ's talents, energy, or heart. And his work ethic
showed with getting back into shape over the offseason. He just does
very stupid things on the basketball court.