An Open Letter to Wes Johnson

Posted on January 11, 2012

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Dear Wes Johnson,

You have a marvelous smile. You are athletic. Lengthy and fit. Your body is perfect for the NBA game. You could work a bit on your lateral quickness, but as I mentioned, you make up for it with your length. And as far as your strength goes, you’re no slouch. You got just enough muscle for my type of guy.*

*No Homo. (Not that there is anything wrong with being that, whatever floats your boats.)

If the above paragraph sounds like John Amaechi wrote it when he saw you on the court one night scrolling through league pass, that is because it is suppose to. You see Wes, you have all the physical attributes to be a solid starter in the NBA at SG. I know the transition was a bit tough for you last year, and understandably so, but frankly your performance this year has been horrendous. Even with your one (and only) good game against the Spurs where you scored 14 and shot 100% from the field, your field goal percentage to date is 32%. And with your three-point percentage being 27%, we might as well have Darko take some threes instead of you. (I’ve seen the guy be lights out in shoot around, and shoot it over Pek in his face.)

Oh, and it is not like you’re getting any younger. I know this is gonna sound weird, but being 24 is old for a dude in his second year as a pro. So Tic-Toc, or else your party as an NBA pro is going to stop.

I don’t want to end this letter on that sour note. It is just that I am frustrated. I mean, it is not like you are stupid, immature or lazy, it is just…UGH I DON’T KNOW. You should be better. You shouldn’t be made fun of as the “shooter that can’t shoot.” But frankly you fit that description. From what we have seen this season and even last, you didn’t even shoot 40% from the field a year ago.

Presently you are on an up swinging team. The wolves are no longer the laughingstock throughout the league. Unfortunately amongst the fans you are. We are missing a true starting SG, and what is so frustrating with you is that you have all the physical attributes to be one. Coming in at 6-7 you are like that perfect height since 6-7 is a little undersized at SF.

Wes you need be more aggressive driving to the lane. I’m not asking you to be the perimeter offensive guy that dribbles penetrating to the basket thanks to a sick cross over, Rubio is there to do that. All I’m asking is that when there is a lane open for you to drive, when the ball gets dished out to you by Rubio, is that you take it and take advantage of your athletic abilities, and not take one dribble and hoist up a 19ft jump shot. Because frankly your need to raise your confidence and the best way to do that is to take, nice close easy shots. I mean you are not a bad shooter, you shot 50% from the field in college during your final season at Syracuse. So it can’t be that bad can it? I know may have been a bit harsh, but I’m rooting for ya Wes.

     Sincerely,

                          Smithy

P.S. But hey, if it doesn’t work out, Malcolm Lee is supposedly coming back in four weeks and if the myth surrounding UCLA guards continues, Wes, you’re out of luck.

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