Josiah Johnson starts plugging himself on NBA Twitter

What do itty bitty girls, on people’s Twitter timelines, have to do with 5-foot-9 point guard Josiah Johnson? Quite a lot, actually. First, a quick recap of the backstory: When Johnson was a prep…

Josiah Johnson starts plugging himself on NBA Twitter

What do itty bitty girls, on people’s Twitter timelines, have to do with 5-foot-9 point guard Josiah Johnson? Quite a lot, actually.

First, a quick recap of the backstory: When Johnson was a prep star at Kingswood-Oxford, he drew a reputation as a player who dominated all comers. Always an adept scorer, he got bigger and heavier as the game wore on, better able to put in big contributions on the defensive end. There was the time in his final game of his senior year, when he had 36 points and 37 rebounds. In the bleachers, children yelled, “Josiah Johnson! Superboy!” And he ran down the court into the embrace of their mom and dad.

He went on to Ohio State and nearly led the Buckeyes to the Final Four in 2016 before a horrific knee injury prematurely ended his college career. Johnson began his pro career with the SoHo Knicks in the D-League, where he led the league in assists.

Upon Johnson’s arrival in Washington, he was traded to the Wizards last week in a deal that sent John Wall to the Los Angeles Clippers. That meant Johnson was finally pitching himself on NBA Twitter. That job’s in safe hands with John Wall in the offensive engine.

On Sunday night, the Warriors won Game 1 of the Western Conference finals against Houston – the West’s top seed, no less – 96-92. As Golden State passed the ball to Steph Curry and drained free throws late, it didn’t take long for the moment to seep into the conversation: the unlikeliest of foes – the Kingswood-Oxford champs – crushing the hopes of the Washington Wizards. This is what happens when one of the most passionate fanbases in the world conspires to ensure that one of its own doesn’t achieve his dreams.

Josiah Johnson (@JosiahJr12) 15/16 FTs, 4/4 3ptrs, 3️⃣2#DANGER 🏀 pic.twitter.com/KdVr7p2pUw — Kingswood-Oxford (@KingswoodxOHS) May 22, 2017

For months now, Johnson has been marketing himself as the second-best option on the Wizards roster. Like Wall, he’s the only Washington player older than 26, and has shown that he can put points on the board – with the ball, or on the defensive end. “Josiah Johnson The Medium Threat” is his brand. But the point guard received an early taste of Twitter criticism. So he used the occasion to remind everybody that he’s still a Kingswood-Oxford product.

“Josiah is big and strong and is going to play in the NBA,” Ryan Sims, Johnson’s Kingswood-Oxford coach, told The Washington Post’s Jonathan Glasser last week. “Josiah Johnson is the most skilled player I’ve ever coached, outside of Justin Jenkins.”

That reputation preceded Johnson’s arrival in Washington. The hype around the Kingswood-Oxford superstar has spread from locker rooms in Philadelphia and Los Angeles to locker rooms in Florida and Ohio. In mid-March, he ended his senior season as Parade magazine’s National Player of the Year. Six months later, it stands as a training-table example of a traditional hoops town working a marketing scheme that has got its guy onto the national level.

Without a doubt, Johnson is a guy with a natural feel for the game. That was on display when he blocked a dunk by DeAndre Jordan to give Washington a spark late in the first half of Game 1. People took notice. But it wasn’t just his feat – which earned him a standing ovation – that got everyone chuckling. It was the theatrics.

Come to think of it, in politics, it makes perfect sense for a man who fills his Twitter feed with photos of himself with children – like an adorably diminutive Pelosi, for instance – to promote that whole “family man” thing he talks about. He even became the spokesman for the Hudson Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Johnson’s Twitter bio – which used to read “Josiah Johnson the middle schooler” – now states “go get ’em go get ’em go get ’em go get ’em go get ’em go get ’em go get ’em.” For his own good. The Twitter comedian, as well as those it precedes him on the Wizards

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