James Johnson arrives in Sacramento and prepares to make impact with the Kings.
SACRAMENTO, CA - James Johnson finally arrived in town last week and rather than stage a grand press conference, he opted to make his first impression helping those who are less fortunate.
Johnson was acquired by the Sacramento Kings in July from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for a 2014 second-round draft pick. He was in the middle of his honeymoon at the time he was dealt and several weeks to enjoy the rest of the summer and make preparations to move to town.
The 6-foot-9, 248 pound small forward is known primarily for his defense and feels he can compete for whatever role necessary on the team - even a starting role.
"I feel like my upside and my game is different than most," Johnson said. "I don't have to score the ball to help our team win. I can play defense, I can rebound, I can steal, I can push the ball and I'm not just one player."
Johnson was originally drafted with the 19th pick by the Chicago Bulls in 2009. After a stint in the NBA Developmental League, he was traded to Toronto for a future first-round draft pick.
Heading into just his fourth NBA season, Johnson is looking to blossum with the Kings after a breakout season with the Raptors. He was a starting player in 40 of the 62 games he appeared in, averaging 9.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.4 blocks in the 25 minutes he averaged per game.
After arriving on Monday, the 25-year-old Johnson felt obliged to help out with several community projects with the Kings organization, including a stop at the Sacramento Area Emergency Housing Center in the Oak Park Community.
Johnson celebrated the birthdays of two children who currently live in the Housing Center with 15 underprivileged children in a program called "BirthdayMAGIC". The Kings organization hosted three events last year and are continuing the tradition as the season nears.
"To come here and to see how these how these kids are so happy after being through so much puts a big smile on my face," Johnson told News10. "I'm happy to do something like this any time."
Johnson admitted he probably enjoyed his time with the children more than they did.
By Sean Cunningham, SCunningham@News10.net