Via (National Post)
As you can imagine, ankle surgery is not ideal for a basketball player. When work is done on the upper body, at least you can still run around. With ankle surgery, not so much.
So for a few months after having surgery to repair instability in his left ankle, Toronto Raptors forward Amir Johnson was kind of bored.
“I couldn’t walk or nothing,” Johnson said before the Raptors’ media day on Monday. “I could pretty much just sit down in the chair and shoot. That’s all I could do.”
Surprisingly, the routine has carried on into full health for Johnson. Well, not the part with the chair. But there was Johnson, the last Raptor in the gym, working on his jumper on Monday.
Johnson gets the vast majority of his points around the basket, even as he has added a bit of a jumper over the past few years. Now he wants to make it more of an option.
“Watching all of last season, I was pretty much [getting] mid-range shots in the pick-and-roll. Those are the shots I was getting,” Johnson said. “So I’m working on those shots, any time Jose [Calderon] or Jerryd [Bayless] gets me the ball, I can get that shot.
“I’ve got to work on getting [the shot off] quicker, so as soon as I get off of that pick-and-roll I can just catch it and shoot it. I kind of take my time and look what the [defender] is going to do first. I tend to [hesitate]. I want to be like [Andrea Bargnani] and just catch and shoot.”
There was some controversy about the timing of Johnson’s surgery. He waited more than a month after the season ended to get the surgery, going in for the procedure in early June. He could not run for a few months afterward.
Had the season started on time, Johnson likely would not have been ready to play immediately. That turned out to be a non-issue, of course. Johnson wanted to take a month off to relax, and so long as he is healthy and in shape for the first pre-season game on Sunday, the timing of the surgery will not have mattered.
Bonus – Listen to Amir’s interview from media day with The Fan590 (Clip 10)
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In honor of the 2014/2015 NBA season NBA.com counts down Amir’s top 10 plays as a Toronto Raptor!