Miami Heat star James Johnson, the only player to ever lead the team in scoring, announced Friday that he will retire at the end of the season, ending his four-year tenure with the team.
“I just feel like it’s the right thing to do,” Johnson said.
“As I get older and I get a little bit older, I feel like there’s more of a responsibility on me.
You know what I mean?
“But I just feel this is the right time for me.” “
The Heat are set to have two younger players, guard Josh McRoberts and forward Tyler Johnson, in their final year of contracts this summer. “
But I just feel this is the right time for me.”
The Heat are set to have two younger players, guard Josh McRoberts and forward Tyler Johnson, in their final year of contracts this summer.
McRoberts is coming off his second straight All-Star appearance, while Johnson is entering his third season with the Heat after playing three seasons with the Indiana Pacers.
Johnson, who was named to the All-NBA First Team in 2012, said he’s still focused on finishing his career as a Heat player.
“It’s just about trying to be the best player that I can be,” Johnson told ESPN.com.
“The game doesn’t come easy.
I feel really lucky to be playing in my hometown and to be in my position, and it’s something I’m very thankful for.”
The 35-year-old Johnson scored 19.8 points per game during his five-year career with the Pacers and Indiana.
He also has played in the NBA Playoffs each of the last four seasons and was named MVP of the NBA Finals in 2015.
Johnson has averaged 18.6 points per contest over the past five seasons.
Johnson’s departure is expected to affect the Heat’s roster and their future plans for next season, with McRoberts potentially looking to join the Orlando Magic and Tyler Johnson looking to sign with another team.
Johnson told the Miami Herald he believes that he’s one of the best players in the league right now.
“Right now I’m enjoying my time,” Johnson wrote.
“A lot of the people that are saying I’m overrated or that I’m a liability are people that didn’t know me growing up, so I feel that way.”
McRoberts, who led the Heat to the 2014 NBA Finals, said it was “a great decision” to retire.
“There are so many people that don’t know the story behind the great player that we all know, and I just want to share it,” McRoberts told ESPN The Magazine.
“Just to be able to share that with other people, it’s so special.”