GUS JOHNSON: SADLY, DEAD
GUS JOHNSON: SADLY, ALIVE
LeBron James created another frenzy over the weekend when he Tweeted “R.I.P. Gus Johnson.” Naturally, many basketball fans freaked out thinking that James was posting about the death of wacky CBS announcer Gus Johnson. Instead, James was referring to the Gus Johnson who was a 5-time NBA All Star and played with the Washington Bullets.
Gus Johnson (the basketball player) died in 1987. Like James, he hailed from Akron, Ohio. Johnson joined a star-studded list of inductees into the Basketball Hall of Fame over the weekend
Even the Washington Post talked about Johnson’s “above the rim” play in a story about his Hall of Fame induction. In another era, Johnson would have been a basketball immortal. Johnson was:
* The first NBA player to have a gold tooth with a diamond implanted in it.
* Kicked out of the University of Idaho following one first team All-American season after impregnating the mayor of Moscow’s daughter.
A great defensive player, Johnson was also legendary for his leaping ability. For years there was a bar in Moscow, Idaho called The Corner Club. The bar had a nail in the wall 11′ 6″ off the ground where Johnson once jumped up and touched a beam on the ceiling. The bar offered free drinking to any patron who could jump up and touch the nail. Hundreds of Pac-10 (Washington State University is just eight miles way) and other college basketball players tried to touch the nail (not to mention drunk college students.) None succeeded for 23 years until the brother of former Boston Celtics guard Dennis Johnson finally did so. Joey Johnson was playing for College of Southern Idaho at the time.
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