Jalen Johnon claims that he only watched 4 NBA stars and legends which includes the likes of LeBron James and Ben Simmons, amongst others.
The Atlanta Hawks had a fairly successful 2021 NBA Draft as they snagged Jalen Johnson with the 20th overall pick before he could fall any further while also getting Sharife Cooper with the 52nd overall pick as well. The latter of those two was quite the shock as many big boards had him going as high as 5th overall to the Magic.
With the Hawks looking to surround Trae Young and John Collins with player son rookie-scale contracts that could simultaneously be plugged into the offense immediately, Jalen Johnson is a solid pick. Cam Reddish and Deandre Hunter shares too many similar traits to keep them both, as evident by the Hawks shopping the former prior to the draft.
Johnson has had an interesting road to the NBA as he was considered to be a lock for going into the top 10 but an up-and-down year with Duke with an eventual exit from the program led to him falling outside of the lottery.
Jalen Johnson says he only watched LeBron James and Ben Simmons.
Many NBA players eventually delve into showing flashes of stars they watched while growing up. Looks like this might be the case for Jalen Johnson as he admits he’s only watched four players really hard: LeBron James, Ben Simmons, Magic Johnson, and Penny Hardaway.
“I’ve only watched four players really hard: Penny Hardaway, Magic Johnson, LeBron James, Ben Simmons.”
– Jalen Johnson pic.twitter.com/lfOFHQf4hA
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) July 30, 2021
It’s quite obvious what all 4 of these stars and legends have in common: playmaking forwards with elite athleticism. Johnson does fit this player mold as he’s 6’9, weighing in at a little over 220 lbs. According to Kevin O’Connor’s breakdown of the ex-Duke forward, Jalen Johnson will be a great fit alongside Trae Young.
This is due to his ability to catch the ball when Young gets doubled and can find open passing lanes to keep the offense moving. It’s safe to say that his playmaking and rebounding are his strongest traits and with the Hawks having great scorers like Hunter, Young, and now Sharife Cooper, having a guy who contributes to getting the ball moving seems like a smart choice from Travis Schlenk.