Post by Kenya Brown
September 22, 2013
The Zhejiang Chouzhou Golden Bulls have signed power forward Ivan Johnson to one of their two foreign import spots for the upcoming 2013-14 Chinese Basketball Association season.
The 29-year-old makes his return to the Chinese league after a short stint with the Qingdao Doublestar Eagles in 2011. After playing six games for the Eagles, Johnson signed a contract with the National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Hawks. Afterwards, he spent two seasons with the Southeast Division side. The highlight of his time with the Hawks was being named as the NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for April, having averaged 10.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.45 steals.
The much-traveled Texas native has played in the NBA D-League, Puerto Rico and South Korea.
While Johnson is a highly-skilled player who will add much needed power to the Bulls front court this season, he is also prone to disciplinary problems that could hurt the team should they make a run in the playoffs.
Johnson received a lifetime ban and was fined close to $4,500 by the Korean Basketball League for raising his middle finger at a referee after his Jeonju KCC Egis team lost to Ulsan Mobis Phoebis in the final game of the championship series in April 2010. In April 2012, the Hawks was sent home and fined an unspecified amount of money for what the team called conduct detrimental to the team. A month later the NBA fined him $25,000 for giving the finger to a Boston Celtics fan after the Hawks’ elimination from the playoffs.
If Johnson can keep his attitude in check and provide the Bulls with good play on the offensive and defensive ends of the court, they could make a strong run in the playoffs.