Following last week's post on the defining moment in Tom Chamber's career, I've decided to remain in the same era and discuss the one moment we all remember from the Mayor Kevin Johnson's AWESOME career. For those who don't know, KJ averaged 18 pts, 9 asts and 1.5 steals per game throughout his career. He made the All-NBA second team on four different occasions (remember he played at the same time as two other pretty good guards...what were their names? Oh yeah, Magic and Michael), was a 3-time All-Star and a gold medal winner in the '94 World Championships.
So what moment could possibly define, or sum up this great career? I'll give you a hint (as I know you are just dying of anticipation)...it's not either of these:
KJ was a little dude that played the game without fear. He was Steve Francis before Steve Francis (and before Steve Francis became something else when he was sent to the Knicks). Throughout his career, KJ played with and against many great PGs (Magic, Stockton, Payton and JKidd to name some) yet he found a way to make a name for himself…by leaping buildings in a single bound!
What started with an amazing leap and subsequent ride down the side of Mark Eaton became the crush and subsequent ride on the back of Hot Rod Williams. Then…it all came together in the 1994 playoffs where the Suns faced the Houston Rockets at home. As KJ drove baseline from the left corner only to find one of the greatest NBA centers of all time waiting for him under the rim, he made a decision few would dare and took off towards the rim and Hakeem "the Dream" Olajuwon. This time there would be no ride – only a winner and a loser as the two met in the air. KJ may have surprised the Dream as he exploded off of the floor and reached the rim a lot sooner than the Hall of Famer…then, in a split second as KJ realized the magnitude of what was about to happen…he paused, only for a moment as if he realized that everything he had ever done was about to culminate in this one defining play…and just as quickly as he paused, the Mayor swung his arm with full force at the rim where all that awaited were the cheers of fans and players alike…and glory.