It is easy to become jaded about professional athletes. Just look at the stuff going on in Orlando with Dwight Howard as case and point. Amir Johnson may not be Superman, but he is super to the fans that support him. He is just a good person in general. I have spoke with him many times in his time here and my time covering the team. You get to hear the interviews and read the quotes, but we also just talk and shoot the breeze. That doesn't happen with many guys to level it has with Amir. He takes the time with everyone to make them feel important and special, that is a gift. I am not there on a regular basis but Amir is one of the guys that has gotten to know me. He asked me if I lost weight. No idea if I have or not. It lead to us having a conversation about the positives of working out. He had some good things to say on the subject so instead of cutting out the tail end of that conversation I decided to leave it in their and maybe it can inspire someone. So we start with me joking about getting Amir to be my personal trainer.
Obviously the chances the Raptors would sneak into the playoffs is remote. That said, it is important as you heard from Amir that this team finishes strong and heads into the off-season feeling good about itself. That is the thing that folks that are all on board with Tank Nation don't seem to grasp. Amir Johnson wants his team to play hard and keep fighting. Which is true of everyone you would hope in that locker room. If not you wouldn't want them to be part of the team. Dwane Casey sure is not any less intense or focused on winning either. Let the ping pong balls fall where they may. Sometimes, even with this team giving it's best effort they fall short. Regardless of what comes of the Lottery, the Raptors will be adding two new pieces to the puzzle that can help building this thing to where we all want it to be, as a team that is winning and not worrying about ping pong balls.
Also you have to give a lot of credit to Amir for remaining the same person no matter what the situation for his team or himself. He stays consistent in his presence with the fans through his actions and through social media. He really does things that go above and beyond what you would expect an athlete to do. He is a special guy and an athlete that "gets it" in how you treat people. He treats his team, the media and fans all with the same genuine passion, love and energy that he attempts to display on a nightly basis on the floor. He is a guy that has earned my respect beyond being a basketball player but as a man and as a person. Next time some of you just casually assume this team might move him or toss him aside you might want to consider the character that you are tossing away along with that. Yes it is a business in sports, but it is also still about people which I think a lot of times seems to be forgotten.
So keep on the lookout @IamAmirJohnson for the details on the Roll With Amir Contest that he does because he wants to give back to all of you that support him. A true class act is what Amir Johnson will ALWAYS BE.