It's a little dated, but the timing is impeccable. The latest edition of "Road to Brooklyn" from Jay-Z's YouTube channel features Joe Johnson's early fall tour of Brooklyn. Hosted by Rosie Perez (who initially opposed Barclays Center), it takes Johnson to his first South African restaurant, where he meets graffiti artist Lee Quinones, then a trip to Gleason's Gym, where he straps on the gloves for a quick workout.
Johnson, who's finally showing why the Nets traded for him, talked in the video about the novelty --and challenges-- of what he's been seeing in Brooklyn. "This is my 12th year professionally and I've never experienced the things I've experienced since I got traded here," he tells Perez. When asked what's surprised him the most in Brooklyn, Johnson offers, "The people, how they've embraced not only me, but the Nets being here, period. I've never been a part of that. so i understand the challenge I'm up for. "
When Perez drops him back at his SUV, she asks if he's ready for the upcoming season. "I'm Joe 'Ready' Johnson, I'm ready." He was Friday night!
It's just one of two pieces this week on Johnson. Brooklyn Magazine also has a profile of him, a cover piece. It's about his transition from Atlanta to Brooklyn and all that the move entailed. Bottom line for Johnson is that Brooklyn makes him want to play better.
"Our main focus is not necessarily stealing Knicks fans, though,” says Johnson. “I think Brooklyn, period. Just that borough alone can fill up that space and make it a very noisy, tough place to play. So far it’s been beyond my expectations.”
- Brooklyn Nets' Joe Johnson, On Moving to the Big City (Video) - Jeff Klingman - Brooklyn Magazine