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Kevin Johnson

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Kevin Johnson

Kevin Johnson
Johnson smiling
55th Mayor of Sacramento
Assumed office
December 2, 2008
Preceded by Heather Fargo
Personal details
Born Kevin Maurice Johnson
(1966-03-04) March 4, 1966
Sacramento, California, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Michelle Rhee (m. 2011)
Alma mater University of California, Berkeley

Kevin Maurice Johnson (born March 4, 1966) is the current mayor of Sacramento, the capital city of the U.S. state of California, and the husband of Michelle Rhee. Elected in 2008 and reelected in 2012, Johnson is the first African American to serve in that office.[1] Prior to entering politics, Johnson was a professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA), playing point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Phoenix Suns.

During his 12-year playing career, Johnson was a three-time

  • Career statistics and player information from
  • NBA Encyclopedia profile
  • Phoenix Suns Legends


  • Sacramento Mayor's Office
  • Official Kevin Johnson for Mayor Website
  • Interview with Kevin Johnson on
  • St. HOPE
  • Volunteer Sac
  • For Arts' Sake
  • Sacramento Steps Forward
  • Greenwise
  • Think Big Sacramento
  • Sacramento READS!
  • Allegations of sexual misconduct with minor by Kevin Johnson found in the 16-year-old alleged victim's statement in the Phoenix Police Department Report
  • Transcript of recorded conversation between Kevin Johnson (KJ) and alleged victim (AK) contained in Phoenix Police Department Report
  • 4/30/07 Suspected Child Abuse Report filed alleged against Kevin Johnson at ST Hope Sacramento High
  • Appearances on C-SPAN

External links

  1. ^ Lief, Fred (November 5, 2008). "Sports figures victorious on election night". Associated Press. Retrieved November 5, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Kevin Johnson". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 20, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Sports Digest". San Francisco Chronicle.  
  4. ^ "Berry No. 1 On AP All-America Team".  
  5. ^ Jeramie McPeek (December 1, 1995). "Kevin Johnson: The Spirit of Giving". 
  6. ^ "Kevin Johnson". IGS National Advisory Council. 
  7. ^ a b "Kevin Johnson Profile". Cal Men’s Basketball. 
  8. ^ Cal's Johnson follow Bo's lead?"
  9. ^ "1987 NBA Draft -7- Kevin Johnson, California". 
  10. ^ "Kevin Johnson". RealGM Basketball. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Kevin Johnson". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 20, 2009. 
  12. ^ See NBC's telecast of Game Seven of the 1995 Western Conference Semifinals, Houston at Phoenix, during the second quarter, on May 20, 1995.
  13. ^ Lee Shappell, Phoenix Suns: Rising to the Top with the "Team of Oddities" (Champaign, IL: Sagamore, 1993), 115.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Surgery for Suns Guard - New York Times". 1996-09-28. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  17. ^ "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". 2001-12-14. Archived from the original on December 12, 2004. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  18. ^ "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". 2002-02-07. Archived from the original on September 25, 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  19. ^ "Kevin Johnson posterize Olajuwon 1994 WCSF G4". 
  20. ^ "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". 2002-02-07. Archived from the original on April 22, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  21. ^ Brian Burnsed (January 13, 2012). "Former NCAA stars shine at Honors Celebration". 
  22. ^ Lesley Miller (August 12, 2008). "St. HOPE Public Schools Opens First National School in Harlem" (PDF). 
  23. ^ Alex Tresniowski (December 15, 2003). "Rebound Artist". People. 
  24. ^ "Reopening as a Charter School" (PDF). The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Executive Summary School Accountability Report Card, 2010-11" (PDF). 
  26. ^ "The Role of Social Entrepreneurship in Transforming U.S.A. Public Education" (PDF). Harvard Business School. Retrieved July 13, 2012. 
  27. ^ Terri Hardy and Marcos Bretón (March 5, 2008). "Kevin Johnson announces he is running for mayor".  
  28. ^ – Police Assoc. Endorses Kevin Johnson For Mayor
  29. ^ Jason Kobeley (April 3, 2008). "Councilmembers Cohn, Sheedy Shift Alliances; Endorse Johnson for Mayor". Archived from the original on June 8, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2008. 
  30. ^ Sacramento Builders Exchange Endorses Kevin | Kevin Johnson for Mayor []
  31. ^ Mary Lynne Vellinga (April 28, 2008). "Kevin Johnson endorsed by Realtors".  
  32. ^ Kevin's Biography – Kevin Johnson for Mayor
  33. ^, 3rd-oldest senator wins nomination for 5th term
  34. ^, Former NBA star headed for runoff in Sacramento mayoral race
  35. ^, Mayor's race outcome still pending
  36. ^, Incumbent mayor, ex-NBA player headed for runoff
  37. ^ a b Voter Registration and Elections, Sacramento County, California, USA
  38. ^ Sacramento Bee, November 5, 2008, Race for mayor was costly, contentious
  39. ^ [2]
  40. ^ a b c "Year One: A Look Back at Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s First Year in Office" (PDF). Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  41. ^ "Cities of Service and Rockefeller Foundation Award First-Ever "Cities of Service Leadership Grants" to Ten Cities to Hire Chief Service Officers". Cities of Service. January 18, 2010. 
  42. ^ Jonathan Mendick (December 15, 2009). "Any Given Child survey for arts education". Sacramento Press. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  43. ^ Jonathan Mendick (November 5, 2009). "Sacramento Steps Forward initiative announced". Sacramento Press. 
  44. ^ "Year Two: A Look Back at Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s Second Year in Office" (PDF). Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  45. ^ "Hunger and Homelessness Survey - A Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness in America’s Cities" (PDF). The United States Conference of Mayors. December 1, 2009. p. 42. 
  46. ^ "Sacramento, CA Mayor Kevin Johnson Appointed Chair of the Newly Created Mayors Task Force on Public Schools" (PDF). |date=May 10, 2010
  47. ^ "Mayor Kevin Johnson Appointed to National Education Task Forces" (PDF). April 26, 2010. 
  48. ^ Jeff vonKaenel (January 6, 2011). "Vision of an Emerald Valley". News Review. 
  49. ^ Office of the Press Secretary (December 2, 2011). "We Can’t Wait: President Obama Announces Nearly $4 Billion Investment in Energy Upgrades to Public and Private Buildings". The White House. 
  50. ^ Morris Newman (August 12, 2009). "Sacramento Project ‘Almost a City in Itself’". New York Times. 
  51. ^ "Railyards Redevelopment" (PDF). City of Sacramento. Retrieved July 16, 2012. 
  52. ^ "Our Program". Sacramento Reads. Retrieved July 16, 2012. 
  53. ^ "Action Plan". Retrieved July 16, 2012. 
  54. ^ "Year Two: A Look Back at Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s Second Year in Office" (PDF). Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  55. ^ Ryan Lillis (September 15, 2011). "Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson to seek second term, more congenial council". The Sacramento Bee. 
  56. ^ "Mayor; City of Sacramento Voter Information". Smart Voter (June 28, 2012). 
  57. ^ David Bienick (May 25, 2012). "Sac mayor raises $841k in re-election bid". KCRA. 
  58. ^ "Moving Sacramento Forward – Mayor Kevin Johnson". Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  59. ^ "Sacramento County Election Results – Mayor of Sacramento". Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  60. ^ "Sacramento mayor takes big role in Conference of Mayors". msnbc. June 16, 2012. 
  61. ^ "Who's Funding Kevin Johnson's Secret Government?". 18 September 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  62. ^ a b "Kevin Johnson". IGS National Advisory Council. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  63. ^ "Kevin Johnson to receive John R. Wooden Lifetime Achievement Award" (PDF). February 19, 2008. 
  64. ^ "Can Former Phoenix Sun Kevin Johnson Overcome His Past to Become Sacramento's Mayor?". May 22, 2008. Retrieved May 22, 2008. 
  65. ^ "Johnson agreed to pay teen girl $230,000, draft of document shows". May 20, 2008. Archived from the original on May 21, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008. 
  66. ^ "The Summer of '95". May 8, 1997. Retrieved May 11, 2008. 
  67. ^ "Police Video Shows Teen Girl Graphically Accusing Kevin Johnson Of Sexual Abuse". October 8, 2015. Retrieved October 9, 2015. 
  68. ^ "Women Seek Release of Kevin Johnson Files". April 29, 2008. Retrieved May 11, 2008. 
  69. ^ "Investigation of girl's allegations against Kevin Johnson raises questions". May 7, 2008. Archived from the original on April 28, 2008. Retrieved May 11, 2008. 
  70. ^ Terry Hardy and Dorothy Korber (May 7, 2008). "Investigation of girl's allegations against Kevin Johnson raises questions". 
  71. ^ USA Today, May 31, 2008, Sacramento sheriff won't reopen Johnson probe
  72. ^ a b c d Brown, Lawrence G. (April 9, 2009). "United States settles claims arising out of St. HOPE Academy's spending of AmeriCorps grants and education awards". Sacramento:  
    Lillis, Ryan; Walsh, Denny (April 10, 2009). "U.S. funds can flow to city; Deal to repay grants lifts Mayor Johnson's aid ban".  
  73. ^
  74. ^
  75. ^ Reliable Source blog: Michelle Rhee and Kevin Johnson kept their wedding under the radar, Washington Post (September 7, 2011). Retrieved on November 20, 2011.
  76. ^ Reliable Source blog: Michelle Rhee and Kevin Johnson downsize their wedding, Washington Post (August 25, 2010). Retrieved on November 20, 2011.
  77. ^ Sacramento Mayor Johnson, Rhee marry quietly in Tennessee, The Sacramento Bee (September 7, 2011). Retrieved on November 20, 2011.


See also

Johnson married Michelle Rhee, the former Chancellor of the District of Columbia School System, on September 3, 2011, in front of 40 people at a Tennessee mountain resort.[75] They had originally planned to get married the year before,[76] but decided to postpone it in the wake of a large amount of media attention to their nuptials.[77]

Personal life

In 2007, the Sacramento Bee investigated Johnson's real estate holdings in the Oak Park neighborhood of Sacramento, and found that more than half the properties owned by Johnson and his various entities had been cited for various code violations, including for fire risk from overgrown vegetation, dead animals, junk and debris on the properties, and decaying and fire-damaged buildings. A local group, OPUS (Oak Park United against Slumlords) complained that Johnson was "stopping progress" in Oak Park by refusing to develop key properties in the community.[73][74]


On April 9, 2009, Acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence G. Brown announced that St. HOPE Academy had agreed to pay $423,836.50 over ten years in settlement of allegations that it did not appropriately spend AmeriCorps grants and education awards and did not adequately document spending of grants.[72] The settlement amount represented one-half of the $847,673 in AmeriCorps funds received by St. HOPE Academy over three years from 2004 to 2007.[72] Johnson, St. HOPE Academy’s founder and former CEO, agreed to pay $72,836.50 of St. HOPE Academy’s $73,836.50 initial payment.[72] In settlement, St. HOPE Academy acknowledged not adequately documenting a portion of its AmeriCorps grant expenditures, and the Corporation for National and Community Service terminated its September 24, 2008 suspension of St. HOPE Academy and Johnson from receiving federal funds, ending questions about Sacramento’s eligibility to receive federal stimulus funds.[72]

St. HOPE Academy's alleged misuse of AmeriCorps funds

On April 16, 2008, rival mayoral candidate Leonard Padilla distributed a 2007 report of similar allegations made against Johnson at St. HOPE Sacramento High School. The allegations were investigated by local police, but no charges were filed. On April 29, 2008, a group of female civic leaders including former Sacramento Mayor Ann Rudin, Sacramento Municipal Utility District board member Genevieve Shiroma, and former State Senator Deborah Ortiz demanded the release of the police report on the matter.[68] The teacher to whom the student initially brought the complaint subsequently resigned over the incident, claiming, "St. HOPE sought to intimidate the student through an illegal interrogation and even had the audacity to ask me to change my story."[69] Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel responded, saying, "I think the allegations at the school were handled in the way that you would want them handled. Immediately they followed all the normal protocols that they were supposed to follow. I think it was pretty clear there was nothing there... We did ask the young lady whether anyone had influenced her – her answer was no."[70] The Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness said on May 30, 2008, that Johnson’s actions, though ill-advised, were not illegal.[71]

High School investigation

During the summer of 1995, a sixteen-year-old girl living in his home alleged that Johnson had molested her. Johnson apologized to the girl when he was confronted by her with the accusation during a phone conversation recorded by Phoenix police. However, he also stated that "what you're saying happened, I'm not entirely agreeing happened."[64] The Sacramento Bee stated that they had received a copy of a proposed settlement agreement, under which Johnson would have paid the girl's family $230,000.[65] After conducting an investigation, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office declined to prosecute, on the grounds that there was not a reasonable likelihood of conviction.[66] On October 8th, 2015, video showed detectives saying there was a likely chance that he was abusing her and others. [67]

Sexual assault and harassment allegations


Johnson has received numerous awards for his dedication and contributions to his community. In 1991, Former President McCall's, Johnson has received the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, the John R. Wooden Lifetime Achievement Award 2008, the Good Morning America Award from Sports Illustrated, the “Most Caring American” award by the Caring Institute, and induction into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame in Boise, Idaho.[62][63]

Johnson has served on the board of directors for the University of California Alumni Association, Phoenix Suns Charities, Christian Athlete Ministries, Phoenix Symphony, the School House Foundation, Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), and on the advisory board for the Caring Institute.[62]

[61] In June 2012 Johnson was elected the Second Vice President of the

Leadership Roles and Accolades

Johnson defeated the three candidates with 58.74% of the votes.[59]

Candidate Votes[37] Outcome
Kevin Johnson 40,823 (58.74%) Winner
Jonathan Michael Rewers 16,551 (23.81%) Defeated
J. Leonard Padilla 8,989 (12.93%) Defeated
Richard L. Jones 2,679 (3.85%) Defeated
Write-in 459 (0.66%) Defeated

2012 Primary Election for Mayor of Sacramento

Johnson was endorsed by Sacramento City Council members Angelique Ashby (Vice Mayor), Steve Cohn, and Jay Schenirer. Johnson also received support from the Sacramento Police Officers Association, the Sacramento Area Firefighters Local 522, and the Sacramento Metro Chamber along with California Senate pro Tem President Darrell Steinberg, Governor Jerry Brown, and Senator Dianne Feinstein.[58]

Kevin Johnson announced he would run for reelection for Mayor of Sacramento on September 14, 2011.[55] Election day was June 5, 2012. Johnson was challenged by three individuals: Jonathan Michael Rewers, Leonard Padilla, and Richard Jones. Since Johnson received a majority of the vote (more than 50% of the vote), no run-off was required.[56] Johnson raised at least $841,394 in his reelection bid and spent $500,000 of that on the race.[57]

Reelection 2012

The Gang Prevention Task Force was launched to form a three-year city-county partnership to reduce gang violence through school-based and job-training programs. Johnson acquired over $17 million in federal and state stimulus dollars for law enforcement and community policing.[54]

Gang Prevention Task Force (2011)

The City-Schools Collaborative was launched to better align city services with school districts to maximize resources to support public education.[53]

City-Schools Collaborative (2011)

In 2011 Johnson launched another education initiative, Sacramento READS!, in response to the “literacy crisis in Sacramento.” Beginning in 2011, Sacramento READS! was designed as a 10-year initiative to ensure all children in Sacramento can read at grade level by the end of 3rd grade by focusing on school readiness, attendance, and limiting summer learning loss.[52]

Sacramento READS! (2011)

Think Big was launched to facilitate the economic development of Sacramento, including the construction of a new entertainment and sports complex. Think Big oversees progress at the downtown Railyards, an area that has been left unutilized since the 1980s and is currently one of the largest urban infill project in the country.[50][51]

Think Big (2010)

The Greenwise initiative was launched to diversify economic development, go green, and promote Sacramento as the “Emerald Valley.”[48] Sacramento was selected by President Obama to participate in the Better Buildings Challenge which provides federal investment to achieve energy efficiency. Sacramento committed to reducing energy use 20% by 2020 in 12 million square feet of building space.[49] The Greenwise initiative works to establish programs to achieve this commitment.

Greenwise (2010)

Johnson launched the STAND UP education initiative to increase student achievement in Sacramento schools with $6 million being raised to bring education reform and innovative programming to Sacramento.[40] In 2010 Johnson was the Founding Chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Public Schools Task Force and the Co-Chair of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s Mayoral Advisory Council.[46][47]

Stand UP (2009)

Sacramento Steps Forward is an initiative launched to end chronic homelessness in Sacramento. Johnson assumed leadership as Chair of the regional Policy Board to End Homelessness and joined the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness in 2009.[43] By 2011, 2,350 households were moved into permanent housing and Sacramento was awarded approximately $6 million through the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program.[44][45]

Sacramento Steps Forward (2009)

For Arts’ Sake was launched to increase interest and support of Sacramento’s local art. In response to this commitment, Sacramento was chosen by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. as the first city in the nation to pilot the “Any Given Child” program. The program is designed to bring equal access to arts programming for children K-8. It currently operates in Sacramento City Unified School District and Twin Rivers Unified School District.[42]

For Arts’ Sake (2009)

Volunteer Sacramento was launched alongside Cities of Service, a bipartisan coalition of mayors founded in 2009 to encourage public service. As one of the founding cities, Sacramento logged 1.7 million hours of service and created $22 million in economic impact in 2009.[40] In 2010, 3 million hours of service were logged, adding a $70 million economic impact in the region.[40] For these efforts, Sacramento was awarded a City of Service Leadership Grant.[41]

Volunteer Sacramento (2009)

Johnson launched nine initiatives in his first term as Mayor:

First Term

Candidate Votes[39] Outcome
Kevin Johnson 92,288 (57.4%) Winner
Heather Fargo 67,348 (41.9%) Defeated

2008 runoff election for mayor of Sacramento

Johnson and Fargo had a runoff election in November, won by Johnson.[38]

Candidate Votes[37] Outcome
Kevin Johnson 32,160 (46.58%) Runoff
Heather Fargo 27,472 (39.36%) Runoff
Leonard Padilla 4,231 (6.06%) Defeated
Shawn D. Eldredge 2,462 (3.53%) Defeated
Muriel Strand 2,104 (3.01%) Defeated
Richard Jones 679 (0.97%) Defeated
Adam Daniel 407 (0.58%) Defeated
Write-in 280 (0.40%) Defeated

2008 primary election for mayor of Sacramento

On June 4, 2008, Kevin Johnson, who led by 8 percentage points, forced a runoff election for mayor versus the 2-term incumbent. 374 of 378 precincts were reported, and Johnson was ahead of Mayor Heather Fargo 47% to 40%. Five other candidates split the rest of the vote.[33] The candidates needed more than 50% to win the election.[34] Third place finisher Leonard Padilla endorsed Mayor Fargo on June 4, 2008.[35] Johnson, by late May, loaned his campaign $500,000 and raised $490,000, while Fargo raised $340,000 despite having started fundraising in 2005.[36]

Johnson garnered the endorsement of the Sacramento Police Officers Association (SPOA),[28] the Region Builders PAC,[29][30] the Chamber of Commerce, Realtors' Association and Labor Council, among others.[31] Johnson was also endorsed by Sacramento City Council members Steve Cohn (Vice Mayor) and Sandy Sheedy, and by former Sacramento Mayor Jimmie Yee.[32]

On March 5, 2008, Johnson announced he would run for mayor of Sacramento, his hometown, challenging incumbent Heather Fargo.[27] Election day was June 3, 2008. Since no candidate received a majority of the vote in the nonpartisan election, there was a runoff.

Election for Mayor's Office of Sacramento

These improved test scores attracted the attention of a school in New York and St. HOPE eventually expanded into Harlem at the St. HOPE Leadership Academy Charter School which opened in 2008. Since 2007, the decision to expand St. HOPE to New York has been taught as a case study in the Entrepreneurship in Education Reform class at Harvard Business School. Following presentation of the case study, Johnson discusses it over lunch with the Harvard students and faculty. The class works as a feeder program for students to participate in the Mayoral Fellowship Program in Sacramento.[26]

St. HOPE Public Schools is a pre-K through 12th grade independent charter school system that provides education to nearly 2,000 students in seven small schools.[23] One of the schools St. HOPE impacted was Sacramento High School (colloquially known as Sac High and now the Sacramento Charter High School), where three generations of Johnson’s family including him attended. In October 2002, Sac High was at risk of being shut down and restricted into five smaller schools due to low test scores.[24] But by January 2003, Johnson had raised seed money from the Gates Foundation and drafted a petition to reopen Sac High as an independent charter school. On September 2, 2003 Sac High reopened as Sacramento Charter High School, a charter school with 1,450 students. Since St. HOPE’s involvement with Sac High, student performance has improved. In 2010 Sac High’s API score improved to 719, compared to 610 in 2006. The number of students who completed all courses required for University of California or California State University Admission also rose between those years from 84% to 90.6%.[25]

The St. HOPE Development Corporation, founded in 1994, has focused its efforts on Oak Park. The Development Corporation has enabled the renovation of a number of projects including a historic bank building that is now a local U.S. Bank branch, a Victorian house that has been converted to office space, and a 25,000 square foot art gallery and retail complex that includes the Guild Theater and 40 Acres Art Gallery.[22]

In 1989, while still an NBA player, Johnson founded St. HOPE (Helping Others Pursue Excellence) as an after-school program for kids in his native


The Kevin Johnson Corporation includes operations of several subsidiary organizations specializing in real estate development and management, sports management, and business acquisition. A key component of The Kevin Johnson Corporation includes appearances and public speaking engagements for corporations, academic institutions, and community organizations.

The Kevin Johnson Corporation

  • Three-time NBA All-Star - 1990, 1991, and 1994
  • Five-time member of All NBA-Teams – 1989 Second Team, 1990 Second Team, 1991 Second Team, 1992 Third Team, 1994 Second Team
  • In Johnson’s first seven full seasons in Phoenix from 1989-1995, the Suns won the most regular season games in the NBA (394, an average of 56 – the only team to win at least 50 in each of those years) and the second-most playoff games (46, trailing only the Chicago Bulls).
  • Ranks third all-time in assists per game started (10.0), behind only Magic Johnson (12.2) and John Stockton (11.2).
  • One of only three players in NBA history (Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson) to average at least 20.0 points and 12.0 assists in a season.
  • One of only three players in NBA history (Oscar Robertson and Isiah Thomas) to average at least 20.0 points and 10.0 assists per game in three consecutive seasons.
    • Kevin Johnson nearly tied Robertson and Thomas' record four consecutive seasons averaging at least 20.0 points and 10.0 assists, but averaged 19.7 ppg in the 1991/92 season while averaging 10.7 assists
  • One of only four players in NBA history (Robertson, Thomas, and Magic Johnson) to have averaged at least 20.0 points and 10.0 assists per game in three different seasons.
  • One of only three players in NBA history (Oscar Robertson and Isiah Thomas) to average at least 23.0 points and 11.0 assists in multiple playoff runs.
  • The only player in NBA history to average at least 23.0 points and 11.0 assists in multiple playoff runs that lasted longer than the first round or more than four games (1989 and 1992).
    • Johnson would have averaged at least 23.0 points and 11.0 assists in the 1990 Playoff run, but only played 9 and 14 minutes in his first and last game of the 1990 Playoffs due to illness or injury, which brought his averages down. Excluding those 2 games, Johnson averaged 23.1 ppg and 11.4 apg in the 1990 Playoff.
  • Along with Magic Johnson, one of only two players in NBA history to have twice averaged at least 20.0 points and 10.0 assists per game over the course of a season while shooting at least .500 from the field. The only other player to produce 20.0/10.0/.500 over the course of a single season is Chris Paul.
    • Kevin Johnson nearly achieved a record 3rd season of 20.0/10.0/.500, but shot .499 from the field in the 1989/90 season while averaging 22.5 points and 11.4 assists
  • Along with Magic Johnson, one of only two players in NBA history to average at least 20 points, 12 assists, and a .500 field goal percentage in the same season.
  • First player in NBA history to average at least 20.0 points, 10.0 assists, a .500 field goal percentage, and 2.0 steals in a season (in 1990-91). He has since been joined in that regard by Paul (in 2008-09).
  • First player in NBA history to rank in the top three in assists per game and three-point field goal percentage in the same season (K.J. ranked third in assists per game in '96-'97 at 9.3, and third in three-point field goal percentage in '96-'97 at .441). The only other players to accomplish the feat have been John Stockton in '00-'01 and Steve Nash in '06-'07 and '07-'08.
  • One of only three players in NBA history to rank in the top five in assists per game, three-point field goal percentage, and free throw percentage during a season at some point in their careers. K.J. placed second in assists per game in '91-'92, third in assists per game in '88-'89, '89-'90, and '96-'97, fourth in assists per game in '90-'91, fifth in assists per game in '93-'94, third in three-point field goal percentage in '96-'97, and fifth in free throw percentage in '97-'98. The other two players to accomplish the feat are Steve Nash and Scott Skiles.
  • Recorded the third-most seasons averaging at least 18.0 points and 9.0 assists with seven, behind only Oscar Robertson (nine) and Magic Johnson (eight).
  • NBA record holder for minutes played in an NBA Finals game – 62 minutes in 1993 vs. Chicago Bulls.
  • In Game Seven of the 1995 Western Conference Semifinals, set a new record for the most consecutive free throws made in a playoff game with 21 (a record later tied by Paul Pierce in 2003 and broken by Dirk Nowitzki in 2011).
  • In Game Seven of the 1995 Western Conference Semifinals, had the second-highest scoring output in a Game 7 with 46 points, behind Dominique Wilkins in Game 7 of the 1988 Eastern Conference Semifinals and Sam Jones in Game 7 of the 1963 Eastern Division Finals. Wilkins and Jones share the highest scoring output of 47 points in a Game 7.
  • Only player with at least 40 points and 10 assists (or more than 6 assists) in a Game 7, when he had 46 points and 10 assists in Game 7 of the 1995 Western Conference Semifinals
  • Phoenix Suns' all-time leader in free throws made (3,943), free throws attempted (4,691), assists in a season (991), and assists in a game (25).
  • Inducted into the Suns Ring of Honor as only the seventh player in franchise history to receive that honor on March 7, 2001.
  • Inducted into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000 and into the Pac-10 Hall of Honor in 2003.
  • Became the first Golden Bear men’s basketball player to have his jersey retired (No.11) in 1992.
  • Received the Silver Anniversary Award for recognition of his myriad of athletic and professional accomplishments from the NCAA in January 2012.[21]
  • Inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in March 2012.
  • Inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame in July 2012.

Sports accomplishments and legacy

Johnson retired after the 1997–98 season, but returned briefly during the 1999–2000 campaign to replace the injured Jason Kidd during the playoff run. Johnson helped the Suns win their first playoff series in five years. After Phoenix lost in the second round to the Los Angeles Lakers, he retired for the second and final time.

Retirement and comeback

In the summer of 1994, Johnson played with the U.S. National Team, otherwise known as Dream Team II, in the 1994 FIBA World Championship, reuniting with old teammate and point guard rival Mark Price to win the gold medal. Johnson led Dream Team II in both total assists (31) and assists per game (3.9) while shooting 47.1% (16–34) from the field and 50.0% (16-32) on two-point field goal attempts. The U.S. head coach, Don Nelson, stated, "I really like having KJ on the court. The thing that stood out is how he sacrificed his scoring to be a distributor of the ball and make his team win. We didn't need his offense on this team. We did need his defense, penetration and assists. He gave us all three."[20]

International competition

In Game Four of the previous year’s series with Houston, Johnson completed a remarkable play, driving the baseline and dunking over 7’0” Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon. The shot became an oft-played highlight for the ages and was part of a second consecutive 38-point, 12-assist effort by the point guard.[19]

In 1995, after an injury-riddled regular season, Johnson returned to form in the postseason. He averaged 24.8 points on 57.3% shooting from the field and 9.3 assists in ten games, including 43 points (18-24 FG) with 9 assists in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals versus Houston and 46 points (21-22 FT) with 10 assists in Game Seven. During that series, K.J. sank more three-pointers (5) than he'd hit in the entire '94-'95 regular season (4).

In 1994, he averaged 26.6 points and 9.6 assists in the postseason, scoring 38 points three different times in ten games.

Despite the undiagnosed hernia problems, K.J. continued to thrive in the postseason like few other point guards in the 1990s.

But even before Johnson played his first regular season game with Charles Barkley, he suffered an undiagnosed hernia in October 1992 when he attempted to lift obese rookie teammate Oliver Miller off the ground during warmups before a preseason game.[13] [14] By the middle of the '95-'96 season, Johnson had suffered a second undiagnosed hernia.[15] Primarily due to the groin, hamstring, quadriceps, and other muscle strains stemming from these undiagnosed hernias, Johnson missed 109 regular season games during his four seasons with Barkley from '92-'93 through '95-'96 (although he only missed one playoff game during his entire career). When diligent off-season workouts during the summer of 1996 failed to erase the abdominal and groin pain that had been plaguing Johnson since the middle of the last season, the Suns' doctors finally diagnosed the second hernia just after the start of training camp in the fall of 1996. Then, during surgery to repair the hernia, the Phoenix doctors discovered the second, "hidden" hernia that had existed for four years.[16][17][18]

Johnson made the playoffs every year of his career after his rookie season, reversing the fortunes of the perennially losing Phoenix Suns. The 1992-93 Suns, led by Johnson and new teammate Charles Barkley, posted an NBA-best 62-20 record and managed to make it to the NBA Finals, where they fell to the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls four games to two. Johnson averaged 17.8 points and 7.9 assists in the playoffs and established an NBA record for Finals minutes played by logging 62 minutes in Game 3 (a 129-121 triple-OT victory) vs. the Bulls.[2]

In the 1991 NBA All-Star Game, Johnson started alongside Magic Johnson in the Western Conference backcourt. In anticipation of the game, the Sporting News asked whether K.J. may have surpassed Magic as the best player on the court.[11] The previous spring in the 1990 Western Conference Semifinals, Johnson led the Suns past Magic’s league-best, 63-win Los Angeles Lakers, four games to one. Over the last two games, Johnson closed out the series by averaging 33.5 points and a dozen assists as the Suns won both Game Four and Game Five, with K.J. vastly outplaying Magic Johnson in the fourth quarter of both contests. Indeed, Johnson's clutch performances led Hall of Fame center and NBC commentator Bill Walton to later remark, “Kevin Johnson ... really came to the top of this league in the 1990 playoffs when he waxed Magic Johnson and the Lakers in the early rounds. Kevin Johnson – and the Suns – taking care of business in 1990, four to one over the Lakers ... Kevin Johnson just totally outplaying Magic.”[12] Johnson’s performance during the 1990 playoffs led the Suns to a second consecutive berth in the Western Conference Finals as Phoenix became the only team to ever defeat John Stockton's Jazz (55 wins) and Magic Johnson's Lakers (63 wins) in the same postseason.

Johnson received berths to the NBA All-Star Team in 1990, 1991, and 1994. In the 1991 All-Star Game in Charlotte, Johnson wore number 41 instead of his familiar number 7. NBC announcers Bob Costas and Mike Fratello speculated that the decision represented K.J.'s quiet way of honoring teammate Mark West, the Suns' stoic, largely unrecognized center who thanklessly executed the dirty work on the glass and in the paint.[2]

In his first full season with Phoenix, Johnson grew into one of the game’s elite players, averaging 20.4 points, 12.2 assists, a 50.5% field goal percentage, and an 88.2% free-throw percentage.[2] With those numbers, Johnson joined Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas as the only players in NBA history to average at least 20 points and 12 assists in a season. His rapid improvement earned him the 1988-89 NBA's Most Improved Player Award. The '88-'89 campaign was the first of three straight seasons in which Johnson averaged at least 20 points and 10 assists, joining Oscar Robertson and Isiah Thomas as the only players in league history to accomplish that feat. It also represented the beginning of a new era for the previously moribund Suns' franchise. In K.J.'s first seven full seasons in Phoenix from 1989-1995, the Suns won the most regular season games in the NBA (394, an average of 56 and never fewer than 53), constituting the only club to win at least 50 every year during that span, and they won the second-most playoff games (46), trailing only the Chicago Bulls.

On February 28, 1988, Johnson, Mark West, Tyrone Corbin, and a future draft pick were traded to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for forward Larry Nance, Mike Sanders, and a future draft pick.[10] Adjusting quickly to the change of scenery and much-increased playing time, Johnson excelled and the league named him the NBA Rookie of the Month for April 1988, averaging 15.1 points, an 86.4% free throw percentage, 10.6 assists, and 5.6 rebounds.[2]

Phoenix Suns

Following his senior season of college basketball, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Johnson with the seventh pick in the 1987 NBA draft.[9] Originally drafted by Cleveland to challenge the incumbent point guard Mark Price for the starting spot, Johnson found himself playing limited minutes as Price’s backup during the 1987-88 NBA season.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Johnson briefly played for Cal's baseball team[8] and the Oakland Athletics drafted him as a shortstop in the twenty-third round of the 1986 MLB Draft. After playing a couple games with Oakland’s minor-league team in Modesto, California during the summer of 1986, Johnson ended his baseball career, finding the road to professional baseball more arduous and risky compared to basketball.

Johnson accepted a scholarship to play basketball for the University of California, Berkeley. As a four-year starter, Johnson ended his college career in 1987 as the school's all-time leader in assists, steals, and scoring (since eclipsed by Lamond Murray and Jerome Randle).[6] Johnson was named to the Pac-10's All-Conference First Team in his junior and senior seasons, averaging 17.2 points and 5.0 assists in his final year. He led Cal to the program's first post-season appearances in 26 seasons with NIT bids in 1986 and 1987 and was the first player in the Pac-10 Conference to post a triple-double.[7] In 1992 Johnson became the first Golden Bear to have his jersey (No. 11) retired.[7]

University of California, Berkeley

Kevin Johnson
Personal information
Born (1966-03-04) March 4, 1966
Sacramento, California
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Listed weight 180 lb (82 kg)
Career information
High school Sacramento
(Sacramento, California)
College California (1983–1987)
NBA draft 1987 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7th overall
Selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers
Pro career 1987–2000
Position Point guard
Number 11, 7
Career history
1987–1988 Cleveland Cavaliers
1988–1998; 2000 Phoenix Suns
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 13,127 (17.9 ppg)
Assists 6,711 (9.1 apg)
Steals 1,082 (1.5 spg)
Stats at

Basketball career

Johnson, the son of Georgia West and Lawrence Johnson, was born March 4, 1966, in Sacramento. After his father died in a boating accident when he was three, Johnson was raised by his grandparents, the Peat family. He attended Sacramento High School, where he starred in both baseball and basketball. In his senior year, Johnson led the state of California in scoring (32.5 ppg) and was named the Northern California Player of the Year.[5]

Early life


  • Early life 1
  • Basketball career 2
    • University of California, Berkeley 2.1
    • Cleveland Cavaliers 2.2
    • Phoenix Suns 2.3
    • International competition 2.4
    • Retirement and comeback 2.5
    • Sports accomplishments and legacy 2.6
  • The Kevin Johnson Corporation 3
  • St. HOPE 4
  • Election for Mayor's Office of Sacramento 5
    • 2008 primary election for mayor of Sacramento 5.1
    • 2008 runoff election for mayor of Sacramento 5.2
  • First Term 6
    • Volunteer Sacramento (2009) 6.1
    • For Arts’ Sake (2009) 6.2
    • Sacramento Steps Forward (2009) 6.3
    • Stand UP (2009) 6.4
    • Greenwise (2010) 6.5
    • Think Big (2010) 6.6
    • Sacramento READS! (2011) 6.7
    • City-Schools Collaborative (2011) 6.8
    • Gang Prevention Task Force (2011) 6.9
  • Reelection 2012 7
    • 2012 Primary Election for Mayor of Sacramento 7.1
  • Leadership Roles and Accolades 8
  • Controversy 9
    • Sexual assault and harassment allegations 9.1
    • High School investigation 9.2
    • St. HOPE Academy's alleged misuse of AmeriCorps funds 9.3
    • Slumlord 9.4
  • Personal life 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13
    • NBA 13.1

Johnson has a B.A. in Political Science from U.C. Berkeley that he completed after his initial retirement from the NBA. Since founding St. HOPE in 1989, Johnson has been active in education reform. As Mayor, Johnson launched two education initiatives, Stand UP and Sacramento READS!, to benefit students in Sacramento. Johnson also helped to save the Sacramento Kings basketball team from moving to Anaheim, and later, Seattle.

[4][3].Associated Press by the All-American player and an honorable-mention Pac-10 Conference, Johnson was named a two-time All-University of California, Berkeley At the [2]

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