The Raptor New Number 15 In DNB

There is no mistaking Amir Johnson for Vince Carter. They don't look alike and they play the game of basketball in a totally different way. Had a chance to have a brief conversation with Amir prior to the game on Sunday. Never did ask him about wearing the infamous number 15 for the Raptors. He seems to be enjoying his new situation here in Toronto though. I asked him how things were going in terms of getting to know all his new teammates?

Amir Johnson- " It's going good. We are getting better and better every game. It's just a learning process with a whole new team. I think were looking good right now. "

I also asked how things were going for him personally.

Amir Johnson- " Pretty good, I think I have done a lot of positive things and a few wrong things and I am working on it, learning the plays. I am learning coach Triano's style of play. I think that I am doing pretty good."

Amir of course spent the bulk of his career in Detroit with the Pistons and on Sunday got to match up against former teammate Rasheed Wallace who is getting use to a new team as well in the Boston Celtics. I asked Amir if he was looking forward to going up against him.

Amir Johnson- " It is going fun playing against him talking smack. It's going be pretty cool playing against Sheed."

In terms of them both being on new squads.

Amir Johnson- " He has done this for what 15, 20 or 30 years. So he is probably use to it. It's no big thing for him. It will be fun to go against him. We use to always go at each other in practice. So it will be fun to go at it in games on different teams. It will be pretty exciting."

It has been well documented the concerns about the Raptors defense. When I asked Amir about what were some of the things the team and himself were working on in this last stretch before the season starts that is what came up in his answer.

Amir Johnson- " As a team we really need to work on our defense . That is basically it, defense wins games. For myself a little bit more hustle go a little bit harder. There were some plays were I could got the ball or could boxed out a little bit more. So those little things I need to do. As a team we just need to work on our defense a little bit more on the defensive end. "

Everyone to a man seems to understand the D needs to get better for the Raps. There is just a bit more calm and optimistic outlook in the Raptor locker room than in the fan base. However a lot of fans were excited when Amir was acquired to come to the Raptors and have been since. I asked Amir what he thought of all of you crazy, passionate Raptor fans.

Amir Johnson-" They are awesome. Everywhere I go people really notice me. That doesn't usually happen. It's kind showing a little bit more love, I wouldn't say than Detroit but just right away they are showing me love. So the fans are great and I really appreciate them. "

If Amir can bring it on the defensive end of the floor, like Reggie Evans has, both are going to develop more and more fans as the season rolls along. We had a nice conversation about the passion of the fans here and he is truly impressed by the love and passion for the Raptors in Toronto. Here is hoping Amir is able to impress all of you in return. Oh and the match up with Wallace? 8 points for Rasheed and 4 for Amir but Johnson did win on the glass with 5 rebounds to just 3 for Rasheed in more minutes than Amir. As for the smack talk battle I was way to far from the floor to know who won that battle.


  1. Change your number Amir!!! damn #15 should be retired for VC. Nice interview though!

  2. I never knew Michelle Carter read the Dino Nation Blog? But if done the line Raps wanted to retire the number is still possible. Garbo already has had worn it as well. I ready Holly Mackenzie's interview with Amir and the number goes back to his high school days.

  3. Very happy with what Amir Johnson is doing. It's a pity there aren't more minutes available to him because he could help improve this team.