As some of you know, we went to LA to do a recording of “Run Your Race.” This time, one of California’s very own, Stanley Johnson, joined the show. I can say that back in 2012 / 2013, I was big on watching hoop mixtapes to see who was up next on the circuit. Stanley Johnson is someone that I heard about for a long, long time. The “Stanimal” from Mater Dei would be the next great two-way wing in the league, with an NBA-ready body. He played for arguably the best AAU team of all time, the Oakland Soldiers.
But Stanley never materialized to be the pro-people had him hyped out to be. He has already talked about his career being a “bust” before, but there is so much more to the story you hear on this episode of “Run Your Race.”
We dive into so much about Stanley and his journey. It had me throughout the podcast, becoming an instant fan of Stan. I would also say that this was one of my favourite episodes we’ve ever done. He was well-spoken and open/candid about his journey. One thing that will have you locked into the podcast is that Stanley’s mother passed away weeks before training camp started (rest in peace to her). Imagine a 19-year-old dealing with such loss and entering the harsh reality of professional sports/basketball. There are only 450 players in the LEAGUE. He still showed up to training camp and was a professional throughout the process.
Some other things we covered are his time with the Raptors and why that was the best destination by far for him—starting with a conversation with Masai Ujiri about their player development. Why his time at the Detroit Pistons was a difficult situation in general? What it was like getting a call-up by his home team, the LA Lakers, on Christmas Day? Luka Doncic dropping 50 on his team, and how wild the game plan was. You’ll also get some Frank Kaminsky, Aaron Gordon and Gregg Popovich gems that will have you smiling or thinking about the game differently.
I hope you enjoyed this episode as much as I did!
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