James Johnson credits Heat culture for dropping 37 pounds in career year

Posted: 07/03/2017 in NBA, Sports
Tags: , , , ,
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James Johnson became the latest in a long line of journeymen to reinvigorate their career with the Miami Heat.

None of it was an accident, Johnson explains. The Heat have a culture of hard work that goes above and beyond what is found league-wide. Johnson dropped 37 pounds in a matter of months before posting a career year.

“I never had done a before-and-after,” Johnson told Anthony Chiang of the Palm Beach Post. “We got in there and they told me I had to take off my shirt. We had to take a before picture.

“It was weird to me. It was really weird to me. I thought I was going to be the only one because I came in something huge. I thought they were going to show me progress or what I don’t want to get back to.”

Johnson trimmed down from 275 pounds on 14.5 percent body fat down to 238 pounds with 6.75 percent. His before-and-after will become an example to future players.

“I ran through their iPad magazine,” Johnson said. “It was like a magazine, their iPad, their own accomplishments with other players and I saw it with my own eyes. And from the point I saw that iPad, I wanted to change myself.”

A dramatically reshaped figure translated to the best season of Johnson’s career. The 29-year-old never factored into anything more than a deep reserve in his previous stops in Chicago, Toronto, Sacramento, and Memphis, but Johnson is thriving in a key sixth man role for the Heat.

He’s averaging career highs in points (12.1), rebounds (4.9), assists (3.4), and 3-point percentage (34 percent).

“I feel like that the more weight I lose, the more I unleash skills that I didn’t think I was capable of having or doing,” Johnson said. “Just being able to do more things agility-wise. I can move, cut through smaller spaces, and definitely give more effort out there in the game. I can go from 100 effort to 150 now.”

Johnson credits the vaunted Heat culture for his turnaround.

“This culture is real. Not only that, you know the kind of practices we have … We won’t leave it to the coaches to call you out. We take care of that ourselves. That’s the inside of this locker room.”

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