Freddy Weighs in on the Career Of Gus Johnson

  Watch #25 on this Video

On April 5, 2010 Gus “Honeycomb” Johnson was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.  Out of Akron, Ohio,  via Boise J.C. and The University of Idaho, the 6 foot 5 inch, 225 pound  power forward was taken by the Baltimore Bullets as the  10th overall pick in the 1963 N.B.A. Draft.  Gus was one of the first N.B.A. players to play the game “above the rim” and he played hoops with a flair.  I was fortunate enough to see a majority of the Johnson’s games at the Civic Center and he was a joy to watch.  And when  the Bullets were on the road hearing the call of Jim Karvellas describing Gus was memorable.  I can still hear the Golden Greek saying..Here’s Loughery in the middle of the break, bounce pass to the Honeycomb…..He’llllll jammmm it!  I have numerous memories of Gus, but the one that stands out the most  was a game the Bullets played in Milwaukee against  a Bucks team led by the former U.C.L.A. star Lew Alcindor.  The Bullets were down by 50 late in the 4th quarter.  Yes, by 50, I kid you not..  Gus drives to the hoop, and stuffs the ball, and boom, the backboard shattered.  There wa glass flying everywhere.  There was an hour delay while workman put up a new backboard.. Forget about Chocolate Thunder, Darryl Dawkins of the 76’ers..  This was years before anyone even heard of Dawkins.  As a matter of fact, Gus broke 2 more backboards during is “Hall of Fame” N.B.A. career.  He was a lock-down defender, named twice to the N.B.A. All-Defensive team.  His battles with the Knicks Dave DeBusschere were legendary.  Gus had a deep baritone voice and a gold star etched in one of his front teeth.  Sadly, Gus Johnson died from cancer in 1987, at the age of 48, but his memory will live on forever with his induction to the Hall of Fame.  Long live the “Honeycomb”!

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