Bucks Sign Ervin Johnson

August 29, 2005 - The Milwaukee Bucks have signed center Ervin Johnson to a one-year contract, General Manager Larry Harris announced today. Terms of the deal were not announced in accordance with club policy. Johnson begins his 13th season in the NBA and second stint with the Bucks after spending six seasons in Milwaukee from 1997-2003.

“Ervin is a hard-working, high-character, veteran player who has always taken a team-first approach to the game,” said Harris. “He adds size and depth to our frontcourt and an experienced voice for our younger players. It’s great to welcome Ervin back and reconnect him to the Bucks family.”

Johnson, 37, was a first round draft choice of the Seattle Sonics in 1993 and played three seasons with the Sonics, including a trip to the NBA Finals in 1996. After playing the 1996-97 season with the Denver Nuggets, Johnson was traded to Milwaukee for Johnny Newman, Joe Wolf and the draft rights to Danny Fortson prior to the 1997-98 campaign. Johnson played six seasons with the Bucks and led the team in rebounds and blocked shots from 1997-2001. Among the Bucks all-time career leaders, he ranks third in blocks (584), eighth in field goal percentage (.513) and 10th in rebounds (3,026). In June of 2003, Johnson was traded to Minnesota with Sam Cassell for Joe Smith and Anthony Peeler. He played 112 games for the Timberwolves over the last two seasons with 70 starts.

“I’ve had the pleasure of coaching Ervin for seven seasons (Seattle and Milwaukee) and always respected his attitude and professionalism,” said Head Coach Terry Stotts. “His strengths have always been rebounding and blocking shots, so that will help bolster our interior defense. I think that with his many years of experience, Ervin will also welcome the role of mentoring our younger players like Andrew (Bogut) and Dan (Gadzuric).”

In 827 career regular season games, Johnson has averaged 4.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots per game while shooting 50.6 percent from the field. He has made 74 post-season appearances in his 12-year career to date, averaging 3.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocked shots per game.