Suns News

Chat Transcript: Eddie Johnson

In 2000, the Phoenix Suns signed Eddie Johnson for the second time. This go around, though, it was for the veteran's broadcasting abilities, not his shooting skills.
Eddie chatted live on Friday.
NBAE/Getty Images

Johnson played 17 years in the NBA, three-plus of those with the Suns (1987-90), but it's his on-air talents that have kept him involved in the game he loves. Entering his fourth year as a color analyst for Suns games on UPN 45, the ex-forward has seen a lot of the ups and downs of the organization, first as a player and now as a broadcaster.

The team's first-ever Sixth Man Award recipient (1988-89) will put down his microphone and log on to for a live chat from Training Camp.

Eddie will checked into the chat room at approximately 9 a.m. local Phoenix time (12 p.m. ET) to discuss everything from last season's surprises to expectations for the upcoming year.

Discostu: Coming off the his award winning rookie campaign, do you forsee any sophomore slump for Amare?

Not really. Mainly because of his focus and ability to adapt to his coaching. I've not seen many young players be as focused as him.

Don Bell (Phoenix): Good hearing from you. While I agree with the trade, and the ability to run with the big men left, what will the suns do with the big tough centers? Thanks for the great job of reporting last year!

Continue to fight like everybody else. What you try to do if you can't go right at a big strong center is you try to use speed and quickness to try and offset Shaq and Tim Duncan. Make them come out and play defense.

Judy Beatty Goodyear AZ.: I am hopeing to see a lot of JJ this season.Do you think he will have a breakout year?

I think it's up to Joe Johnson. He's put in the work, but the major hurdle for him, and for all young players, is to fight mentally. It's like breaking through a box, he needs to break through that box and just play, not think so much and hesitate. I think he can do that and be a great player.

Nils, Germany: Hey Eddie, did you see Dermarr Johnson practicing? How did he look? I hope he makes our active roster because he is a good player and has as much untapped potential as anyone in this league. Also keep on the good broadcasting work. I love listening to you and Al on the radio.

I haven't seen him practice yet, but I hear he is looking very good. He will be a little hesitant, and that's expected. He's long and will fit in here with the Suns.

Curt ( Tempe): Eddie, how's your golf game?

Ha-ha. Well, it's taking awhile. It was easier to get good at basketball. I'm down to a 13-handicap.

Chris (AZ): Being the teams first ever sixth man award recipient, do you see anyone coming off the Suns bench who might be worthy of that consideration this year?

I feel like Joe Johnson or Penny Hardaway. That will be a battle to see who starts, but either one of them can do it, if they don't think of themself as a starter. They need to embrace the sixth man role and either one can be very good at it.

Danny D (Glendale): Eddie, what rookie or any of the new guys will make the biggest impact for this team this season?

Frank will say this, you never want to depend on a rookie for you to succeed. But that being said, they are excited about both rookies. Zarko had a great practice, I understand, yesterday. And Leandro looks good too. I think Robert Archibald is another young guy who can help.

Shawn (Parker, AZ) : Hey Eddie...How hard was it for you to make the transition from the court to the booth? Is there are part of you that still wishes to be out there? Thanks for your time.

It's always going to be there, but my body won't let me. So, that will not happen. If they come up with a knee replacement where I can jump, then maybe. The adjustment has been good for me. I feel ready for this part of my career.

Dave (Phoenix): He Eddie, as an aspiring broadcaster, I'd like to know how much preparation goes into each game.

I'm up at 7 am the day of a game, on my computer trying to update stats, get my information. I finish about 1 pm, pick up the kids from school, get something to eat and head out to the game. I spend about five hours getting ready before each game.

Gilbert: Do you think the Suns will miss Big Jake especially when playng teams ilke the lakers and spurs?

You always miss a player, but you try and figure out what you got back and how to use that. Big Jake was a presence in the paint, but he wasn't suited to the running game they want to employ here in Phoenix.

Pat (Ohio): Hey EDDIE!!! I'm a huge Trevor Huffman fan, have you seen him yet? Does he have any chance at all to make it this year?

He looked good in workouts. One negative is he'd like to have more height. But he makes up for it in strength, this guy is a rock. He also works very hard on the jump shot, which kids have not been doing for about 15 years, and I always tell them, work on the jumper.

LBJ(Phx): Eddie at times broad casters such as yourself have valuable insight into what's going on on the floor. How much if any imput goes from say you to a particular player or maybe a coach?

I think alot. Fans would be surprised how much players and coaches look at film and if they respect you as an analyst they will listen to what you say. I've got experience in the league and players and coaches appreciate that. I've had players and coaches come to me and say, "you were right about that point."

Ken (California): Hey Eddie, with all the offseason moves around the Western Conference, how do you see the Suns stacking up against the powerhouses this year?

It will be very difficult, of course. You give Spurs their respect, then you have L.A, Sacramento, Dallas and Minnesota. Then the Suns are with the next group. It will be a tremendous battle in the West. Suns will need to win their fair share against the West. Bluntly, they need to have a great record against the East to finish in the fifth or sixth spot in the West.

Phillip(Peoria): Eddie, Should we expect Phoenix in the 2nd round at least or do you tihnk we need more work? Also do you think we have another Rookie of the Year on this years squad?

If the Suns get to the second round they will meet one of those top five, but it can be done. The Suns played the best against the Spurs last year, so they've proven they can do it. They need to have some periods during the year where young guys will step up and help you upset teams on any given night.

sammy pascua phoenix az: Hi Eddie from a former suns player what do you think the suns need to work on to make it deep into the finals.

I think it might not be just one thing. One major thing is to be unselfish. The Suns have four or five guys who can score 20 every night. Stephon, Shawn and Amare will get the most of the shots, we know that. The fourth and fifth guys, Penny, Joe Johnsonk, will be key. They are unselfish and that helps. Defensively they will have to pressure teams and force mistakes. If they do those two things, they can be very good this season.

I'd like to thank the fans for remembering me as a player and for throwing questions at me. That's what I do now and I appreciate their input and enjoy keeping in the game.