Johnson Close To Returning To Heat Camp

Heat president Pat Riley said forward James Johnson is very close to reaching his conditioning requirements and joining the team for training camp, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.

Johnson failed to meet Riley’s standards – which Johnson’s agent Mark Bartelstein described as a weight issue – and has been working out apart from the team.

“He’s already almost there again,” Riley said. “So I think in very short notice I’m going to turn this over to (coach) Erik (Spoelstra).”

Riley says he has no hard feelings toward Johnson but that the banishment “had to be done.”

“I’ve always had that feeling about players, even the ones that may fall short of certain goals and things of that nature,” he said. “It’s just something that had to be done. Now, he realizes it, and I realize it. It’s not going to take away from the team and it’s not going to take away from him once he reaches those conditioning requirements.”

Johnson has a $15.3MM contract this season with a $16MM player option for the 2020/21 season. He’s the projected starter at power forward after starting 33 of 55 games in which he appeared last season.

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6 thoughts on “Johnson Close To Returning To Heat Camp

  1. Jeff Zanghi

    Does it really benefit anyone to publicly scold/penalize a 32-year old man for being ‘overweight’ instead of just like handling it quietly/internally? Like other than humiliating the guy into losing weight… what else did this accomplish that couldn’t have been accomplished by just letting him lose the weight as he worked out with the team as normal? lol — I mean it might be one thing if it were a rookie or really young player that needed to “learn a lesson” but we’re talking about a 31/32 year old veteran lol

    • SheaGoodbye

      I mean, the media was going to find out anyway unless they made up a phantom injury, which I guess they could’ve done.

      What makes the whole situation weird is that literally a few days before Spoelstra was praising JJ’s conditioning, then this happens lol. Granted, I guess he could’ve just been in great shape but still above the weight they had him targeted for.

  2. Skip, Tampa

    Pat Riley laid out exactly what his expectations of players were at exit interview back in April.
    It’s a statement not punishment, although conflating the two is easy. Think the extra weight is in muscle mass from training.
    Teams today are just catching on to what Riley put in place years ago. Analytics now can peg exactly where a player is at thier best.
    Maybe someone should ask JJ what he thinks now vs showing up at AAA the first time at a +270lbs.

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