Chris Johnson Signs NBA Contract
Former University of Dayton men’s basketball player Chris Johnson went undrafted prior to the 2012 NBA season and wasn’t able to make a team, but has apparently used his time in the NBA’s Developmental League well enough to earn another look.
The Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday, Jan. 22, signed Johnson to a 10-day contract. The team made room on its 15-player roster after completing a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier in the day in which it sent three players to Cleveland for just one in return.
Johnson is now the third Dayton alumnus, along with Brian Roberts and Chris Wright, to have made an NBA roster in the last two years after not having a player in the league since Negele Knight played for the Toronto Raptors in 1999.
It’s a fantastic accomplishment for the program and could be a sign it’s heading in the right direction in its growth.
The likes of Gonzaga University, the University of Memphis and Xavier University have become powers in the so-called mid-major level of college basketball in the previous decade and for each school, it started with getting NBA-caliber talent that eventually panned out in the league.
Gonzaga began with Dan Dickau, Memphis with Earl Barron and Xavier with David West. Whether Chris Johnson or Chris Wright are the ones to begin leading the way for Dayton remains to be seen, but the fact the program can say players are going into the next level again can only do good for it.
NFL Pro Bowl Returns on Sunday
Well, I think we’ve covered this topic.
Excitement Down Under
The Australian Open is one of my favorite events I look forward to watching every year.
It’s a great late night follow that perfectly bridges the gap between the Bowl Championship Series title game and the Super Bowl. It also just so happens to be the best hard court event in tennis and has some of the best fans in sports in attendance every night.
There are not many tennis players I usually have a vested rooting interest against as I enjoy all styles of play and almost all of the elite players. One though I haven’t been able to get past has been Serena Williams, and her actions during her elimination match on Tuesday did not help that cause.
Playing against fellow American Sloane Stephens, Williams easily won the first set before her antics began during the second.
Williams began letting some frustration from her play get to her. She ended up stalling play during her service game with an injury timeout trailing 5-4. After letting out a few remarks, she returned to the court but ramped up her emotions.
After Stephens held serve to go up 2-1 in the third set, Williams smashed her racket into the court several times before walking towards her bench and throwing the racket along the way.
During a Stephens’ service game at 4-4, Williams attempted to go cross-court with a late forehand and saw her shot go wide of the doubles line and completely off the court. She proceeded to throw one arm up in the air while looking into the crowd before pointing at the racket as if that was the reason for the poor shot. She would lose the game and her composure.
I would also like to briefly point out Victoria Azarenka, the No. 1 ranked player in the world, was then shown by ESPN between games getting dancing lessons from LMFAO’s Redfoo, which was almost as fun as watching the ongoing match.
Despite needing to break serve to win heading into the match’s final game, it seemed a given at this point Stephens would finish off Williams, which she did before gasping with a look of disbelief of her face that she had won.
In her post match interview with ESPN, Stephens made four mentions of a key word I love hearing from athletes: “Fun.”
Williams would not even acknowledge her opponent’s name when asked about Stephens during her press conference.
Stephens at 19 years old has a bright future and already exemplifies the qualities of becoming a fan favorite by exhibiting her love for the game and its fans. It’s exciting to see her gain success, and for it to come against Williams, who needs to stick to her fashion lines since she has previously spoke of her desire of not wanting to play tennis, I was happy for her.