Statements on the Passing of Dennis Johnson
Danny Ainge, Executive Director of Basketball Operations
"I was deeply saddened to learn about the sudden passing of Dennis Johnson. I had the great privilege of playing alongside DJ in the backcourt for six seasons and two championships. He was one of the most underrated players in the history of the game, in my opinion, and one of the greatest Celtic acquisitions of all time. DJ was a free spirit and a fun personality who loved to laugh and play the game. He was a good teammate and a good friend."
"We had spoken at length just the other night about basketball and his excitement about coaching the Austin Toros. DJ was in good spirits, so his passing comes as a shock."
"He will be sorely missed by the Celtics Family."
Robert Parish, Consultant
"The passing of DJ was a shock and a great loss to our basketball family. He was a great player and friend. DJ was a major contributor to the Sonics, Suns, and Celtics- never getting credit for his unique talent and ability. I will miss DJ along with everyone who knew him."
NBA Commissioner David Stern
"Whether he was leading his teams to NBA championships or teaching young men the meaning of professionalism, Dennis Johnson's contributions to the game went far beyond the basketball court. Dennis was a man of extraordinary character with a tremendous passion for the game and his loss will be felt throughout the basketball community. On behalf of the entire NBA family, I extend my deepest sympathy to his wife Donna, his children Dwayne, Denise and Daniel, and their entire family."
Kevin McHale, VP of Basketball Operations, Minnesota Timberwolves
"I'm shocked and saddened after hearing the news about D.J. He was truly one of the good guys to play in the NBA, and he was a great teammate who was fun to be around. My sympathies go out to his wife and kids. He was way too young to pass away."
Southwest Basketball and Austin Toros owner David Kahn
"On behalf of Southwest Basketball and the Austin Toros family, we are deeply saddened by the passing of our head coach, Dennis Johnson. Dennis was a remarkable man and an excellent role model for our young players and front-office staff. He instantly commanded respect based on his past accomplishments in the NBA, but earned far more from us with his unpretentious demeanor, his dedication to the job, and his community service in Austin. He was a delight to be around, with a one-of-a-kind laugh that, like him, deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame. We share our sympathy with Donna and his children, and want them to know they will always be a part of the Toros family."
Elgin Baylor, Vice President of Basketball Operations, Los Angeles Clippers
"Speaking for our entire organization, I want to say how saddened we are to hear this shocking news. Dennis was a joy to be around and a terrific person. He will truly be missed by the many people whose lives he touched. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family."