At 6 feet 2 inches tall, Johnson’s skill set allowed him to replace either point guard Isiah Thomas or shooting guard Joe Dumars from the bench. Johnson earned the nickname “the Microwave” from Boston Celtics guard Danny Ainge for his ability to score many points in a short period of time (i.e., Johnson could heat up the offense of the team in short order).
On June 19, 1990, Johnson made a 14-foot shot with 0.7 seconds left on the clock, beating the Portland Trail Blazers 92-90 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, and giving Detroit a repeat championship. The basket earned Johnson a new nickname: 007.
After leaving the Pistons following the 1990–91 season, Johnson would play one more season in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs before retiring in 1992. From 1990 to 2001, he served as a color analyst on Pistons radio broadcasts.
The Pistons honored Johnson’s career by retiring his number 15 jersey in a ceremony on February 5, 1994, at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Johnson was influenced by Earl Monroe growing up and only wore number 15 throughout his playing days. When asked about it by a fan later he said, “It was a huge honor. The fact that they retired my jersey tells me that I did some great things for the organization.
Smallthoughts: OLd School Tuesday salutes another athlete from Brooklyn…Vinnie ” The Microwave Johnson
|1991–1992||San Antonio Spurs|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||11,825 (12.0 ppg)|
|Assists||3,212 (3.3 apg)|
|Rebound||3,109 (3.2 rpg|