The Knicks were the first team Johnson met with when he was a free agent in the 2010 offseason, and he said he “almost” signed with them after their presentation. His hangups? For one, he’d make more money re-signing with the Atlanta Hawks. But another hang-up: the Knicks said he’d need to pick up at least two houses, and pony up at least $5 million, just to go between Manhattan and the practice facility:
“Obviously there was the money difference, but they said, ‘You needed a place in Westchester and you needed a place in the city.’ They said you would roughly spend like $5 million.
“I was like, ‘aw, no,’ as opposed to being in Atlanta where I was already established with a solid team that was getting better every year. And I didn’t have to buy nothing or make any changes, and we had the arena and the practice facility in one place. It took me roughly 20 minutes with traffic to get there. Oh no. So then I never even imagined being in New York.”
Johnson, of course, did end up in New York: the Nets acquired him on the final four years of his enormous contract in a blockbuster trade in the 2012 offseason, opening their first season in Brooklyn with Johnson next to Deron Williams. He’s been the team’s top scoring option in that time and their go-to scorer in crunch time — including one game-winner against the Knicks.
As of now, Johnson doesn’t live in Brooklyn, but recently entertained the idea of checking out an apartment in the riverside clock tower building. Plus, as far as we know, he only lives in one place.
New York Post — Brooklyn star Joe Johnson was nearly a Knick