Having the same name as another former NBA player who is accused of heinous crimes is rough for one of the nicer guys in the league: the very much innocent Eddie Johnson who broadcasts Phoenix Suns games. He has been getting very hateful phone calls, and tells the AP this thing has not been funny at all.
Edward Arnet Johnson is 6-foot-8, does color commentary on Suns telecasts during the season, gives motivational speeches and runs basketball clinics for youngsters. He has a DVD that teaches kids how to shoot the jumper. He retired from the NBA in 1999 and is 47.
"He called me really upset about it," said Charles Barkley, a former teammate of Johnson's, who wanted to help him set the record straight. "It's a tough situation. He was on vacation in Hawaii. He gets back and the first thing he knows, he's dealing with this. And he's such a good dude. It's an unfortunate situation."
Edward "Fast Eddie" Johnson Jr. -- the one being held in a Florida jail on sexual battery and burglary charges -- is a 6-foot-2, two-time NBA All-Star who played most of his career in Atlanta. An Auburn alum, he retired in 1987 and is 51.
"I feel bad for Eddie Johnson of Phoenix and I feel really badly for Eddie Johnson of Auburn, because he never got his life together," Barkley said.