Unsigned NBA wing James Johnson emerges from a cabin carrying a log. In the meantime, on a tv display screen behind him, highlights of Giannis Antetokounpo hulking out on the sidelines and within the gamers tunnel repeats in a loop.
Johnson balances a picket log upright and thrusts downward — along with his naked palms. The log explodes in half. As he pauses to wipe his forehead, the timber start to sway and the repetitive whooping sound of helicopter choppers fills the air.
The helicopter lands in a discipline. The door opens and out steps Pacers common supervisor Chad Buchanan guarding his bruised ribs.
“I do know why you’re right here,” Johnson says, interrupting Buchanan.
And with that the Pacers discovered their latest ahead. Did Johnson’s signing play precisely like that? I’m undecided, however I’d prefer to think about that’s the way it performed out. On Tuesday afternoon, the Pacers scraped the 35-year-old wing defender off the trash heap and it couldn’t have come at a greater time.
The Pacers have a number of wants, particularly on the defensive finish, the place they depart the paint open. However extra importantly, Wednesday night time’s postgame fracas triggered them to signal an previous enforcer from Rick Carlisle’s previous. In line with Carlisle, an unknown Bucks player injured Buchanan throughout Antetokounmpo’s postgame tirade in quest of the sport ball, following his career-high efficiency,
Johnson, who beforehand performed for Carlisle on the Mavericks in 2020 and once more in 2022, is an skilled vet off the bench for Indiana, however he doesn’t even qualify as a 3-and-D defender as a 30-percent profession shooter. He’s most famous as a black belt with MMA battle expertise making him an apropos signing for Indiana. Don’t get pedantic about his document or high quality of opponents. That is the NBA.
Assume it’s a joke all you need. Serge Ibaka definitely didn’t after Johnson slipped him with a jab to the chin and Ibaka’s response was to throw his hands up. Ibaka would possibly seem like he can wrestle a bear and even then he didn’t need these issues.
The now-suspended Draymond Green’s cheap shots have sullied the identify of hardwood enforcers, nevertheless it’s a requirement for any staff value speaking about. There’s a motive Dillon Brooks is getting $80 million from the Houston Rockets and it’s not only for his streaky taking pictures. Ime Udoka wished to instill toughness in his younger Rockets. Carlisle discovered his Mr. Miyagi.
Johnson isn’t of Inexperienced’s caliber defensively. He received’t remodel their twenty eighth ranked protection right into a tangible factor. Subsequent time they face the Bucks on New Yr’s Day, Antetokounmpo continues to be going to cannonball in direction of the rim and bruise egos. Nonetheless, NBA groups will spend a fairly penny on an intimidator. No staff wanted yet another than the Pacers and Johnson got here low cost. Subsequent time an NBA celebrity thinks he can deal with the Pacers like chumps, Johnson is the backstop.