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As someone who has been to the NBA before, Santa Cruz Warriors center Chris Johnson has been more relaxed than some of his younger teammates about getting his next chance at the NBA.
Perhaps it's that calm that approach to things that helped the long and athletic 6-foot-11 center get a coveted NBA call-up by the Minnesota Timberwolves today: whereas younger players might try to impress by making spectacular individual plays, Johnson has consistently focused on playing within the team concept on both ends of the floor as he alluded to in describing the experience of playing in front of NBA scouts in Reno recently, where he got an honorable mention for his performance.
"Really [the D-League Showcase] is not that different for me, but for guys that's new to this, it probably is," Johnson said after recording 18 points and six rebounds in the Warriors' win against the Tulsa 66ers at Kaiser Permanente Arena on Sunday. "It can be a little nerve-wracking - you could get a little nervous. You don't have a crowd there - it's just scouts there...Just play as a team. Sometimes guys want to do more individual stuff but that's not what scouts want to see. They want to see what you can do within the offense and certain decisions you make in certain situations."
Of course, Johnson is not without a highlight reel of spectacular plays of his own: from big blocks to monster dunks, Johnson has had his share of eye-catching moments. But what always seemed to stand out about Johnson as a NBA prospect was his ability to find gaps in the defense to find scoring opportunities for his high-release jumper, his ability to run the floor, and the instincts that make him a solid weakside shot blocker.