MIAMI — Joe Johnson didn’t spend much time with the Heat, but he left an impression on at least one of Miami’s young players.
After signing with Miami for a prorated minimum contract in February last season, Johnson played in 38 games for the Heat between the regular season and playoffs. It was enough time for Josh Richardson to learn an important lesson from Johnson.
“Take your time,” Richardson said Friday of what he learned from the seven-time All-Star. “Joe never really gets sped up. He never gets in a rush. He just kind of takes his time and gets where he needs to go. It kind of just taught me that I don’t have to go 100 miles per hour all the time. I can just scope the scene out a little bit and figure out where I need to go from there.”
Johnson returns to Miami to take on the Heat on Saturday night as a member of the Utah Jazz. The 35-year-old forward signed a two-year, $22 million deal to play for the Jazz this summer as a free agent.
Johnson’s return won’t get the attention Dwyane Wade’s did on Thursday, but Richardson is still looking forward to seeing his former teammate.
“It will be cool,” Richardson said. “Joe was a great teammate last year and for me he was probably one of my favorite players when I was growing up. So it was cool to be able to play with him. He’s a great player and I think it will be a tough matchup.”
Johnson is averaging 10.5 points on 47.1 percent shooting from the field and 48.3 percent shooting from three-point range this season entering Saturday’s game against the Heat. He started the first six games at small forward, but he’s moved to a bench role upon Gordon Hayward’s return from a finger injury.