Heat F Johnson vows to 'earn my respect back'Reuters | New York | Updated: 12-10-2019 08:25 IST | Created: 12-10-2019 08:05 IST
James Johnson was humble but determined after returning to the Miami Heat on Friday. The veteran forward had been sent home Sept. 30 because he failed to meet the team's conditioning requirements. He rejoined his teammates 11 days later and promised to use the experience as a learning moment.
"It was Day 1 of earning my respect back," Johnson told reporters. "That's the only emotion I had, is earn my respect back." The 32-year-old said he wanted to look forward rather than delve into details about his conditioning level before training camp.
"It's good to be back home," Johnson said. "I got exactly what I needed; I got exactly what I needed to hear. Hopefully, I can put it all behind me after this." In 10 NBA seasons, Johnson has averaged 7.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.1 assists. He has spent the previous three seasons with the Heat and also has played for the Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, Sacramento Kings and Memphis Grizzlies.
Johnson said he could catch up quickly despite missing a pair of preseason games. "As far as playing and plays-wise, I'm familiar with all the plays," Johnson said. "As far as playing with somebody as great as Jimmy Butler, you can't pick that up in training camp. It's going to be more than preseason games, to know where his strong points are and for him to know my strengths and weaknesses. That's just going to come with trials and errors, being in the trenches for real."