Five Questions with All-Star Joe Johnson
By Jon Cooper
Valentine's Day 2010 is going to be a special one for Joe Johnson.
He'll be spending it at NBA All-Star Weekend, playing the game he loves with some of the best players in the world (including teammate Al Horford), in the stadium of the football team he loves (the Dallas Cowboys), and in front of dozens of loved ones -- a delegation of friends and family are making the five-hour drive from Little Rock, Arkansas, to Dallas.
Joe took the time to talk to Hawks.com about the thrill of playing in his fourth consecutive All-Star Game, how he plans to help out Horford (who is the first teammate ever to accompany Johnson to an All-Star Game), and which Arkansas alumnus he hopes to to do the "Woo Pig Sooie" with.
1. How does it feel to make your fourth consecutive All-Star Game?
JOE JOHNSON: It never gets old. I'll tell you that. It's definitely an honor and a privilege to be able to be involved in the festivities going on All-Star Weekend. I always enjoy it and look forward to it.
2. What advice do you have for Al as he heads to his first-time All- Star Game?
JOE: Just enjoy the weekend. Have fun. There's going to be so much going on you can burn yourself out. I'm sure he'll be alright, the more I stay in his ear and make sure he's straight.
3. What do you remember from your first All-Star Game?
JOE: It was in Vegas (in 2007) and was probably the best one so far for me. I had a great time, man, not only being my first All-Star Game. The game, playing on Sunday, it's a big deal. It's an honor. But more so than anything, just getting a chance to mix and mingle throughout the whole weekend, it's a very special event.
4. What is your favorite part of Saturday?
JOE: Obviously the dunk contest and the three-point shootout. It's always fun to sit back and watch these guys come out and put on a show, it's always a blessing to see.
5. What are your thoughts on playing in 80,000-seat Cowboys Stadium?
JOE: I'm anxious to see what it's going to be like. Even when we practice on Saturday, it's going to be crazy. I haven't played in anything that big before. I haven't even seen it. I can't wait to see it.
BONUS: With such great promoters as [Dallas Cowboys Owner] Jerry Jones, [Dallas Mavericks Owner] Mark Cuban and the NBA promoting the event what kind of festivities are you expecting?
JOE: I don't now. Jerry Jones is an Arkansas alumnus. That's my man. So I look forward to getting a chance to see him and just hang out. (laughs) I gotta call him for some more tickets.
Jon Cooper is a freelance writer based in Atlanta.