Ask somebody in regards to the latest member of the NBL’s 400-game membership Daniel Johnson and a standard response can be one thing alongside the traces of: “I want I had a joke for you”.
“Good luck with that one, he in all probability received’t discuss himself,” teammate Mitch McCarron says when requested for some intel on the league’s most-introverted star.
Wheeled out on media avenue within the week main as much as his four-hundredth NBL recreation, the Adelaide huge man admits the limelight is “not likely my factor — however I’m joyful to do it for one week.”
And so he ought to be. Over the course of 13 NBL seasons and counting, the 34-year-old has over 5500 factors — greater than every other participant within the 40-minute period.
The WA-born big is a monument in Adelaide. A seven-time membership MVP who crossed from the Melbourne Tigers in 2010 to affix his former AIS coach Marty Pike on the Sixers and by no means actually thought-about leaving.
He had loads of probabilities, too, with golf equipment like his hometown Perth, Melbourne United and enlargement groups Tasmania and South East Melbourne flashing cheddar at totally different instances within the hope of prying him away from the Sixers.
“I believe it’s simply the vibe of the place, small metropolis, fairly chilled, not an excessive amount of site visitors,” the WA native informed Information Corp as he prepares to hit the milestone on Friday night time in his facet’s conflict with the Wildcats.
Watch each recreation stay of the 2022/23 NBL Season on ESPN on Kayo Sports activities. New to Kayo? Begin your free trial now >
“I simply actually prefer it right here and the membership’s been good to me.
“The vast majority of the time, I haven’t actually made it to free company, we’ve sat down and figured it out.
“I haven’t saved it a secret, that is the place I need to be, it’s house and I’m very joyful right here.”
Beloved Sixers’ workforce supervisor Jared ‘Jazzy’ Campbell has been on the membership for each considered one of Johnson’s video games.
That’s 11-odd years, give or take, and nope, he doesn’t have a speck of dust on the squeaky-clean Johnson, both.
“I don’t actually have something, as a result of DJ’s by no means obtained into bother and he’s by no means accomplished something out of the peculiar,” Campbell mentioned.
“He’s very smart, he’s dependable, involves work, does his job and cares about his teammates and the individuals within the membership.
“He’s like a Rolls Royce, simply cruises alongside however simply will get the job accomplished at a excessive degree, dependable, day in, time out.”
Johnson says preserving a low profile has served him nicely.
“I haven’t had too many dramas through the years, I’ve simply saved my head down and started working,” he mentioned.
LOVE AND BASKETBALL
Assembly spouse Daniela on the finish of his first season ensured his roots would all the time be planted within the Metropolis of Church buildings.
She’s been a continuing by his facet all through nearly all of these video games — following him on professional stops in Puerto Rico, Poland, New Zealand, again to Puerto Rico, Iran, Argentina and Japan.
“She’s been my largest help and just about simply picked up and adopted me in these off-seasons once I’ve gone and performed abroad,” he mentioned.
Now a doting dad to 16-month-old son Judd, these low season journeys won’t be on the playing cards, particularly with one other little DJ due on the finish of NBL23.
“Like everybody says after they have youngsters, it offers you a little bit of a distinct perspective, simply type of relaxed me a bit,” Johnson says, earlier than including: “I imply, I used to be already relaxed, however a bit extra.”
“I’m simply actually having fun with it and I’ve obtained one other one on the best way.
“Judd takes after his mom, so he’s fairly loud, however it retains me on my toes.”
Parenthood has been a connecting fibre with teammates McCarron and Anthony Drmic.
“We’ve a dad crew going, for positive,” McCarron says.
“I believe we’ve simply type of gone by means of the identical phases of life and now we’re at this younger dad stage and simply sharing tales and simply the various things that include that,” Johnson expands.
“It’s been good to have teammates to undergo it with and bounce concepts off.”
WILDCATS NEXT IN WILD SEASON
The Sixers went from pre-season title picks to a talent-laden checklist with chemistry points on and off the court docket.
Import Craig Randall was solid off and the hunt is now on for one more playmaking guard who can present help to McCarron.
“I just like the group that we’ve obtained, there’s clearly numerous expertise there and it’s a reasonably various group,” Johnson mentioned.
“We clearly have to convey one other import in however I believe we’re nonetheless engaged on issues.
“We’re shifting in the suitable route however it’s simply been a little bit of an up-and-down 12 months.
“Hopefully we are able to peak on the proper time and make a run at doing one thing particular.”
The Sixers can begin that run — and mark DJ’s milestone — Friday in opposition to the re-energised Wildcats, who’ve received 4 of their final 5, together with a last-start domination of top-of-the-table New Zealand.
“It’s going to be an enormous recreation — they’re only one spot under us on the ladder,” Johnson mentioned.
“I’m positive they’ll come out with numerous hearth.
“I believe they had been going by means of a bit however they’ve slowly figured that out they usually’re trending in the suitable route.
“I’m hoping we are able to get an enormous win and assist propel our season ahead.”
***Adelaide 36ers (6-6) sixth v Perth Wildcats (6-7) seventh
Friday, December 9, 7pm ACDT, Adelaide Leisure Centre
Watch on Kayo and ESPN
Initially revealed as Adelaide 36ers huge man Daniel Johnson chalks up 400 NBL video games