After two less than stellar seasons with the Detroit Pistons, former Wildcat Stanley Johnson is ready to prove everybody wrong.
In a new mini documentary released by Stanley Johnson, for BallisLife.com, he details the growing pains he’s gone through over the past two years. Specifically, having to hear people all across the country stating that maybe he’s been a bust so far. And maybe he hasn’t met expectations, and it hasn’t panned out so far, but don’t worry, he is only 21-years-old and still nowhere near the prime of his career. Also, the Pistons are very committed to developing Stanley into their future star.
The video starts off with a few highlights from his time at Mater Dei high school in California, where he leads his high school team to four straight state titles. Something not many players across the entire country have ever done. The Stanimal showed up at Mater Dei’s CIF playoff game against Shareef O’Neal and Ira Lee‘s Crossroads team, much to the delight of his fans in Orange County. He also shows up at the BallisLife showcase where he played and has coached in the past.
Johnson spent his last summer playing in the Drew League, winning the Championship. This summer he played in a game or two, but that had folks buzzing in Los Angeles.
In the video, Johnson talks about the moment he decided to declare for the draft, Coach Miller sat him and down man to man and asked one question “Do you think you’re ready to play in the NBA?” Johnson felt that he was ready. He was also a projected lottery pick, so almost had to go to the NBA Draft.
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On draft night 2015, the Pistons selected him with the No. 8 pick. In the video, Stanley says that he has no clue as to why the team selected him because he felt that was his worst draft workout overall.
What was supposed to be the best time of his life, a time to spend celebrating with the woman who was his rock, the woman that coached and supported him his entire life, would not come to fruition. Karen Johnson, Stanley’s beloved mother, and best friend passed away after the NBA Draft and before he arrived in Detroit for his rookie season.
“The passing of my mom, it was terrible for me, devasting. It gave me a new perspective on life, the person who really gave me the game of basketball,” said Johnson, “When people say oh just try not the think about it, make yourself busy, you know my life is basketball. Every time I look up, it’s basketball, basketball, basketball, it makes me think of my mother — What she did for me as a man more than as a basketball player I think is what I’m most grateful for. I was blessed to have her for 19/20 years of my life, and she gave me all I needed I feel like to live my life the way I want to live. So I just kind of deal with it day to day.”
That could not be an easy road for Johnson.
In his years with the Pistons, he has averaged 6.2 PPG with 3.3 RPG. Those numbers may not scream 8th overall pick. But that’s not the whole story, minutes have been hard to come by in Detroit. As he has averaged only 20 minutes a game over 150 games, clearly he has not been unleashed fully.
He had quite the busy summer, even dropping 86 points in a Toronto based tourney that was hosted by rapper Drake. Maybe some of his scoring ability from that game will translate to the NBA this season.
In his effort to take the NBA by storm in the 2017-2018 season, Stanley has been working his tail off night and day. With Marcus Morris gone, he appears primed to start the season at the Small Forward spot, with Tobias Harris moving to the Power Forward spot in a small lineup.
In this video, part two of his summer work, Johnson works out with Luke Story at the P3 training facility. They assess the athlete with technology, gather information on how the athlete applies force on his body and they tailor the workouts for each player. Former Wildcat Aaron Gordon makes a cameo in the P3 part of this part 2 of Growing Pains.
After watching the video, and seeing it first hand that Stanley Johnson is determined to prove all the haters wrong, do you think this is finally the season that he takes the next step forward? What do you think his overall statistics will be for the upcoming season? Let us know in the comments below! Bear down Stanimal!!