||10-07-2012 05:03 AM
Get to know a Toronto Raptor: Amir Johnson
Who was your favourite player growing up?
Growing up in the city of Los Angeles, California, I was a Lakers fan. I used to watch the old-school team with Magic, James Worthy and all of those guys. I would have to say James Worthy.
What did you like about his game?
I like that he kept it simple. Maybe one dribble, maybe two dribbles, pull up with his face to the basket. I felt like he was kind of a similar player to me [at a young age]: ran the floor, long, athletic.
Who has been the most important coach in your development as a player?
I would have to say, shoot, maybe my father [Anthony Johnson]. My father started me in basketball. He got me into it. He was the first one I actually trained with. He was a player himself. He went to Fairfax High School, which is kind of like the rival high school to the one I went to in Westchester. So, Iím going with my pops.
Who is your favourite teammate ever?
Iíd have to say Rasheed Wallace. Heís a funny guy, man. A very wise man. A funny guy. Thatís all I can say about ĎSheed. Heís the one I kind of looked up to when I was in Detroit. He was just a good guy, kept everyone laughing.
Did he prank you as a rookie?
Oh, man, all of the time. Every day. I had such a great group of veterans over there in Detroit. They all took me under their wings.
What are your goals for this season?
Stay healthy. Thatís the main goal. I hope everyone has a healthy season. A team goal of course is to make the playoffs. Thatís a good goal for us. I want to stay injury-free, knock on wood, and just have a good season.
What is one thing about you people probably donít know about you that they should know?
They should know that Iím very goofy. Any situation, I try to keep everybody laughing, make a joke out of it. They should know Iím always going to be keeping it light.
Do you like pulling pranks, or are you just a guy who cracks jokes?
Just cracking jokes. I always try to make any situation funny. I know when to be serious, but I try to make everybody laugh or smile.
Do you have big plans to welcome the rookies to the league?
We did something [Thursday] where we bought a cake at Cold Stone Creamery. It was a Cold Stone-slash-Tim Hortonís store. We made them go around singing happy birthday to random people. That was the first one. We have some stuff in store for them.
Who had the best voice?
I know [Quincy Acy] was pretty loud. Terrence [Ross] was pretty quiet. Iíd have to give it to Q.
Were the people surprised?
Yeah. Theyíd seen a bunch of tall, 7-foot guys singing Happy Birthday. It was pretty funny. We filmed some of it. Itíll probably be somewhere on YouTube.
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