QUOTED: Raptors’ James Johnson Talks His Changing Role Within The Franchise

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Photo: Vidal Keslassy/BALLnROLL.com
 
Like some of his teammates, James Johnson is building a rep among Toronto Raptors fans who have taken note of his tight defence and great offence off the bench. (That high-flying posterizer on Brandon Davies back in November doesn’t hurt, either). After the Raps beat the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, we caught up with the small/power forward to talk how his role within the franchise has transformed since he first wore red back in 2012.

BALLnROLL.com: What would you say has been the biggest difference between the first time you were a Raptor in 2011-12 and now?

James Johnson: Just grown, you know, you grow as a player. Lot of different coaches, lot of different roles. It took me a couple of teams to understand that.

BnR: You are quickly becoming the Raptors’ go-to cover for some of the top ballers in the league. How are you embracing that role?

JJ: Of course I like to accept that role. Who don’t want to shut down the best players? It’s hard. Sometimes, you know, they’re good, they’re getting a lot of shots, you’ve got to really defend every possession, but other than that, this is a privilege.

BnR: You don’t seem to be easily intimidated. Is that the type of attitude you bring to the floor?

JJ: Yeah, definitely. But at the end of the day everybody, everybody—we’re all individual people trying to group up to win games. We have a goal in this locker room, and I don’t think anybody’s bigger than that.

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