In the 11 seasons since LeBron James arrived, no one has played more minutes than the King. As John Schuhmann reports, via Twitter, James has now played in 1,000 games, nearly 40,000 minutes (39,993 to be exact) in regular season and post-season numbers. He is the NBA leader over that stretch in games, minutes played and minutes per game.
Since he came into the league, LeBron James has essentially played 1.5 seasons more than any other player: pic.twitter.com/ZqKp8nVu4D— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) October 4, 2014
And who is second in two of those categories and a close third in the other? Joe Johnson. Joe Cool, aka Joe Jesus, aka Joe Clutch, has appeared in 898 games, played 34,500 minutes, both second to James, and averaged 38.4 minutes per game, third behind James and Kobe Bryant, who's played in 38.8, or an average of 24 seconds more per game. He's averaged a little less than 17 points a game in that time frame.
Johnson, asked about it at Saturday's practice, said "No, I didn't know," then joked, "but I feel it though."
The Nets starting small forward said "at age 33, my bounce back ain't what it used to be. Normally, the next day I’d be ready to go. That day off we had yesterday didn’t do nothing."
Jarrett Jack dismissed that talked when asked if he's noticed a difference in Johnson's game. "Joe's still that sneaky scorer. He might now move that fast, might not jump the highest, but when you look up, he's someone who's filled that stat sheet, probably hit two or three shots down the stretch."
Schuhmann notes that in regular season and postseason minutes combined, James is first and first. Johnson is second (about 2,000 minutes ahead of third place Drik Nowitzki) and 28th in playoff minutes.
Johnson's durability is among the many things that are overrated about Johnson. As discussed back in August, Johnson has an increasingly good chance of making the Hall of Fame.
As Kevin Pelton wrote then...
Johnson's candidacy inspired this list, specifically because of his similarity to Richmond's numbers and career. Like Richmond, Johnson's advanced stats are unimpressive, but his consistent scoring has added up. While nobody thinks of it as a magic number such as 3,000 career hits in baseball, all but one eligible player with at least 20,000 career points has been voted to the Hall of Fame. (Tom Chambers is the exception.) Johnson, with 17,000-plus points at age 33, stands an excellent chance of cracking 20K. Add in seven All-Star appearances -- more than recent Hall of Fame shooting guards Richmond (6), Joe Dumars (6), Dennis Johnson (5) and Reggie Miller (5) -- and it seems probable that Johnson will one day be immortalized in Springfield.
Indeed if you look at Schuhmann's list, there's probably no HoF argument about nine of the 10 players who've played the most minutes since 2003-04. Only Tayshaun Prince would get an automatic "no." Other than James, Johnson, Bryant and Prince, the list includes Dirk Nowitzki, Paul Pierce, Dywane Wade, Ray Allen, Tim Duncan and Chris Bosh. Where's Carmelo Anthony, who entered the NBA the same year as James? He's fourth in regular season minutes, 38th in postseason.
- Joe Johnson on aging: You can't 'eat honey buns and Doritos' anymore - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Net's Joe Johnson leaner, more fit - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Joe Johnson takes back dig at former coach Nets coach Jason Kidd - Mitch Abramson - New York Daily News
Jarrett Jack in familiar backup role with Nets - Rod Boone - Newsday