How Will James Johnson Be Remembered – MMA Fighter Or NBA Ace?
There are not many athletes that get remembered in two different sports, but James Johnson has connected all the dots.
Before entering the NBA, Johnson had made significant strides in his MMA career. The American has spent the last 13 years as a forward of the Brooklyn Nets.
However, he did open a few eyes in the MMA analyst panel with seven matches to his name and an unbeaten 20-0 record before that. The 35-year-old won a second-degree black belt in martial arts.
Johnson had his first cage fight at the age of 18, where he knocked out his opponent within 97 seconds. His quick transitions and ability to block the opponent’s strengths earned him the nickname of “Little Ali.”
Just like the American, his father and siblings also have won black belts in mixed martial arts.
During his NBA career, the Brooklyn Nets man was often asked about his time in the MMA. Many times, he has drawn a comparison of his career in boxing and basketball. He believes that both of these sports are practically the same.
The only difference between them is that boxing is an individual sport and basketball is a collective one.
“In fighting, you’re always training for that one person and it was just you versus him. But in basketball, it’s a team sport, so you have to do what’s needed. But me walking onto the court or me walking into the [MMA] game felt the same,” he continued.