Eddie Johnson, the 2-time Atalanta Hawks All-Star passed away in prison at 65. The shooting guard’s career with the NBA was cut short due to trouble with drugs which after several other offences eventually led to a life sentence in prison.
The Rocker-Cusack Mortuary in Leesburg, Florida reported the former player’s death on Tuesday with Johnson actually having passed away on October 26 itself. Johnson had three children while his brother was also an NBA player before moving onto coaching.
Having represented Atalanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Tampa Bay Thrillers and Seattle Supersonics during his 10-year-old career, ‘Fast Eddie’ was named in the All-Star Team for two consecutive years in 1980 and 1981, for which he started as well.
He was nicknamed as ‘Fast Eddie’ due to his explosive first step and averaged 15.1 points per game during his 10-year career. In the 1980-81 season, he registered his highest career average points with 19.1 points per game.
The shooting guard represented the Atalanta Hawks from 1977 to 1986 after he was picked in the third round by the franchise in the NBA Draft.
During his career with the team, Johnson was diagnosed with depression. However, the players refused to comply with the doctors and eventually stopped taking his medication which prompted the team authorities President Michael Gearon and General Manager Stan Kasten to have Johnson committed.
Fast Eddie’ Johnson was always at a war with the law
His time with the Atalanta Hawks eventually came to an end after he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Johnny Davis in February 1986. Following 2 more switches, he was handed a lifetime ban by the NBA for his cocaine use.
The former Hawks’ player’s tussle with the law prolonged with his arrests for various charges including burglary, robbery, assault on a police officer, and shoplifting.
Things turned worse as a 53-year-old Johnson was found guilty of sexually assaulting a minor in 2008. As a result, the former player was handed a life sentence at the Santa Rosa Correctional Institution where he breathed his last due to an undisclosed illness.