Joe Johnson is a smart and often witty guy, even if he sometimes seems to hide it behind the (very) southern drawl of his Arkansas roots.
Last year, when we asked him after practice if he'd seen John Schuhmann's analysis that showed he'd played the second most minutes of any NBA player in the last dozen years, Johnson, paused, wiped his face with a towel and replied, "No, I had not." Then, with just the trace of a smile, he deadpanned, "But I feel it!"
As he gets ready for his 15th NBA season, Johnson is letting people know he is not taking any days offs. Maybe he's heard the punditry about an inevitable decline. Or more likely, he's just the same professional he's always been and knows he has to do a bit more. He's made his money. He's just short of $200 million for his career. Now, it's about legacy.
So, over the past couple of weeks, Johnson has added some imagery to Instagram to let you know he's in good shape ... and ready.
Back in July, he posted a few seconds of an exercise on what appears to be his kitchen floor. Listen to what's being said ... either by Johnson or his trainer. Sounds like a mantra.
Then, last week, he posted an image of him and some buddies after a camp. That's him on the far right, as if you couldn't find him.
Then, on Friday night, he let people know where he was ... and what he was doing, already working out in East Rutherford. It's early for him.
Indeed, it's been an eventful summer. Johnson also got engaged without much ado. Now, after his worst (statistical) season since year 2 his career, he appears ready