NBA mourns loss of longtime Rockets scout Brent 'BJ' Johnson
Longtime Houston Rockets personnel scout Brent “BJ” Johnson tragically died in a bicycle accident Thursday. He was 65.
Well respected throughout the NBA community, Johnson was one of the longest-tenured members of the Rockets’ franchise.
According to the Houston Chronicle‘s Jonathan Feigen, the accident occurred when Johnson, who usually rode his bike for 30 miles a day, hit a ditch.
“He was riding his bike and hit a culvert,” Johnson’s wife Claudette told Feigen. “There was construction. They are thinking he fell forward and broke his neck because there was no blood.”
Johnson had worked in the Rockets organization since its 1994-1995 championship season. He remained with the team through five head coaches, three general managers and two owners during his time in Houston.
“The Houston Rockets mourn the unspeakable loss of longtime personnel scout, Brent “BJ” Johnson,” the Rockets said in a statement. “BJ was beloved and respected not only throughout the Rockets organization, but across the league and the basketball world.”
“He was a part of the organization for 26 years making an immeasurable impact on the team’s success on and off the court. We will miss his cheerful disposition, infectious smile and uplifting spirit. Our hearts are with Claudette, Bijan, Ciara & LeDon during this difficult time.”
Johnson is survived by his wife, his son Bijan and two stepchildren.
When the news of Johnson’s death was announced Thursday evening, many around the league took to Twitter to mourn his passing, and the tributes continued Friday:
Nooooooo not BJ Johnson. When I was an unproven rookie, he helped give me a lot of confidence that I had a bright future, even when I didn't see it.. I wasn't even on his team. He always had some words of encouragement, or just kept it real with me. Prayers to his family 🙏🏾 .
— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) October 16, 2020
One of the most genuine people in NBA basketball passed tonight RIP BJ Johnson !!!!
— Rudy Gay (@RudyGay) October 16, 2020
BJ Johnson of our Rockets family passed tonight. A scout a father, a friend, always a uplifting spirit. 1986 he joined Rockets as a scout and has been in that role till now. I honor my friendship with him from when he lived next door to Ralph Sampson in Va. Your loved RIP HOSS!
— JOHN LUCAS ENT (@JLEnterprises) October 16, 2020
Before I came to the @HoustonRockets Chris Wallace told me the greatest scout in the NBA was BJ Johnson & I should talk to him first. I followed his advice & what followed was an amazing 14 yr friendship. He was by my side for every key decision. I cant believe he is gone. RIP BJ
— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) October 16, 2020
Wow man!! Rest In Peace Bj Johnson I’m praying for his entire family! A really good person who had seen it all 🙏🏾💯
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) October 16, 2020
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) October 16, 2020
— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) October 16, 2020
The Rio Grande Valley Vipers organization would like to extend our condolences to the Family and Friends of Brent “BJ” Johnson. Our organization was deeply saddened and heartbroken to hear of the passing of our long-term friend and mentor. #RGVVipers #NBA @HoustonRockets pic.twitter.com/7S636fMbjV
— RGV Vipers (@RGVVipers) October 16, 2020
In memory of BJ Johnson.
Rest easy, dear friend. pic.twitter.com/F0yAxagH4T
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) October 16, 2020
Our condolences go out the family of Brent ‘BJ’ Johnson, longtime scout for the @HoustonRockets. BJ frequently attended Basketball Without Borders Africa and was an advocate for grassroots basketball on the continent. Rest In Peace, BJ pic.twitter.com/1JeqXaBi6b
— NBA Africa (@NBA_Africa) October 16, 2020