Arizona Basketball

What they’re saying about Nick Johnson in NBA Summer League

Portland’s in the championship game of the Las Vegas NBA Summer League on Monday night against Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers.

That means former Arizona defensive whiz Nick Johnson might match up against the Lakers’ rookie phenom.

When Johnson was wrapping up his three-year Arizona career in 2013-14, Ball was a sophomore in high school.

Johnson, the 2014 Pac-12 Player of the Year, will play against two former Arizona players coaching the Lakers’ summer league team (Jud Buechler and Miles Simon) and former teammate Gabe York.

These are Johnson’s stats in Las Vegas summer league games:

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Johnson’s part of a Portland roster that includes former Pac-12 rivals Jorge Gutierrez of Cal and Josh Scott of Colorado.

Johnson and Gutierrez, who share the backcourt with the Blazers in Las Vegas, are former Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep players. The Las Vegas Review-Journal interviewed Gutierrez about his relationship with Johnson.

“Nick got there a year after me, but we had some battles when he was at Arizona and I was at Cal,” Gutierrez said. “He’s part of the Findlay family, so I know him well.”

Johnson had this to tweet about concerning his motivation to succeed in the summer league and beyond:

Dwight Jaynes of wrote this synopsis of Johnson this weekend:

A former Pac-12 player of the year and a first-team all-American from Arizona, he played 28 games for Houston during the 2014-15 season after being a second-round pick of the Rockets. Played in the G-League before heading overseas for a job playing for Bayern Munich in the German league, averaging 8.1 points per game while shooting just 33.5 percent from the field. Against Toronto, the guard took over the game for a spell in the third quarter and finished with 17 points, hitting six of his nine shots from the floor. He’s a hard-nosed player who is here playing for a job, be it in Europe or the NBA.

The following are some social media reactions of Johnson’s play in the summer league:

Video highlights of Johnson in the summer league:

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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