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James Johnson getting some national recognition, Grizzlies foresee a future beyond this season

You think the dunks are impressive? He can get his foot up that high as well.
You think the dunks are impressive? He can get his foot up that high as well.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Danny Chau at has a great piece up on everyone's new favorite Grizzly to don the #3, James Johnson. There's a lot of repeat info here for you regular GBB readers. We now all know his martial arts background and how he's worked his way back into the NBA through the D-League and what his neck tattoo says. But Chau digs in and pulls out some new gems that puts a nice light on some things.

For instance, it turns out that James Johnson wasn't even aware of the Bloodsport nickname prior to his interview with Chau:

According to James Johnson's player page on, his nickname is Bloodsport. He was christened thus by NBA blogger Jared Wade nearly five years ago. Johnson wasn't aware of the moniker until we talked over the phone. "That's funny," he said. "Yeah, I love it. You know, anything other than ‘scrub' is cool with me."

Scrub you are not, sir.

Most fans have seen Johnson showcase his incredible athleticism by now, but it turns out his abilities go way beyond what you see on the basketball court and even what you can imagine him doing martial-arts-wise:

The following year, Johnson, then a member of the Toronto Raptors, was presented a challenge. Three balls were lodged in the nets during a practice. Ed Davis and Jerryd Bayless struck upon the brilliant idea of having Johnson knock the balls loose with his feet. He accepted and aimed a spinning heel kick right at the rim. His foot hit rim while dislodging the balls. He's 6-foot-8, nearly 250 pounds, built like a bear on a juice cleanse. There is no footage of this, and unless you've spent an entire childhood mastering the ins and outs of Street Fighter II, your imagination will almost certainly fall short rendering it.

Chau's joke at the end has some definite truth to it. I'm not really sure I can actually imagine JJ heal kicking 3 basketballs out of an NBA hoop.

Everyone go give it a read. It's great to see Bloodsport getting some recognition, and moreover it's really nice to hear that Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien has some intentions to keep JJ around Memphis for a while.