Amir Johnson, after signing a 2-year, $24 million deal with the Boston Celtics, admitted that he struggled picking from Celtics’ available jersey numbers saying that Boston “basically retired numbers 1-34,” the Boston Globe reports.
It was definitely a difficult choice for Johnson, knowing about the Boston Celtics’ rich history and storied success in the NBA of 17 championships and 21 conference titles. Amir Johnson actually just had to skip 21 retired jerseys (including Larry Bird’s number 33, of course), but Amir Johnson opted to pass on a couple more unretired numbers to avoid controversies and to show respect to former Celtics players.
“My first initial number, I picked No. 5, but I know there was going to kind of be some controversy with that because Kevin Garnett won a championship. So I knew that was pretty much out the water. My number , of course, was retired [by Tom Heinsohn].”
Amir Johnson then settled for number 90, a first in Boston Celtics’ history and an odd choice for some. But Amir Johnson has an interesting explanation why.
I recently posted a picture on my social network, I don’t know if you guys checked it out, it was a team back in the ’90s, like ’97, ’96, I played for my first organized basketball team, which was the Burbank Celtics. It was a Celtics team. So I just kind of just put that together. The ’90s were good. I was born in ’87 but the ’90s were good.”
Below is Amir Johnson’s throwback Instagram post:
Now that Amir Johnson’s jersey number is settled, Johnson’s next goal is to win over Boston Celtics’ fans to the Amir Johnson circle. Looking at his numbers, Amir Johnson might not actually be the kind of player the Boston Celtics’ fans would have wished for. Johnson only averaged 9.3 points and 6.1 rebounds for the Toronto Raptors during the 2014-2015 season but Johnson is still confident that the Boston Celtics fans will definitely love the Amir Johnson other NBA fans loved through the years.
“I’m a team player, I’m a hustler… I play hard every game. So I know the fans will definitely love me. I know they’re great fans. I know back in the Detroit days, I’ve seen how rowdy they can get. So I know Boston loves their team for sure.”
Celtics’ GM Danny Ainge certainly agrees with Johnson and has nothing but good words for Amir Johnson at the introductory press conference for the newly-acquired Celtics player. He says that Amir Johnson can really play and that scores really go up when he’s on the court. Not only does Ainge love him, but he admits that Johnson is a player that his teammates love playing with. He says Amir Johnson has “great defense, he rebounds, defends multiple positions and brings a lot of versatility.”
[Image via Boston Globe]