Edward Lee "Fast Eddie" Johnson, Jr.
(born February 24, 1955) is a retired American
player. A 6'2" guard
from Auburn University
, Johnson played 10 seasons (1977
) in the NBA
, mainly as a member of the Atlanta Hawks
. Eddie's younger brother Frank
played and coached in the NBA, also being a guard.
He represented the Hawks in two NBA All-Star Games
(1980 and 1981) and scored 10,163 points in his career. As a player, he was known for his great speed and slashing ability, with a capable outside shot. However, Johnson is known today for how his life spiraled out of control, beginning with his expulsion from the NBA.
A product of Auburn University
, Johnson joined the Atlanta Hawks
as a relatively unsung prospect; 48 players were chosen before the Hawks selected him in the third round of the 1977 NBA Draft
. Johnson spent his first season sharing time in the backcourt with 5-foot-8 Charlie Criss
. Averaging 10.5 points, the rookie helped the Hawks return to the playoffs
after a four-year absence, a feat repeated in six of Johnson’s eight full years with the club.
With Criss injured the following year, Johnson became a starter in 1978–79
. During that season, Johnson advanced as far as he ever would in pursuit of an NBA ring
, losing in the conference semifinals to the Washington Bullets
. He was a starter four consecutive seasons, averaging at least 16 points each season. In only his third year in the league, fans... Read More