Joe Johnson says he’ll “sacrifice” to play with LeBron in NYC

Joe Johnson was asked about his free agent plans after the Hawks’ game against the Knicks, and here’s what he had to say

The inquisition of Joe Johnson began at about 6:20 p.m. ET, lasted approximately 10 minutes and yielded the following nugget:

If a certain someone, like maybe this certain guy in Cleveland, accepted a max offer from the Knicks and wanted Johnson as a sidekick, Johnson would be willing to sign for less than the maximum.

“I’ll sacrifice,” Johnson said.

Those words will carry some weight as we head toward July 1, 2010, because there aren’t a whole lot of max-level free agents out there who are willing to go on the record saying they’ll sacrifice money if it translates into success on the court.

But Johnson went ahead and said it Monday, and given the fact that he turned down a five-year max contract extension from the Atlanta Hawks last summer, that statement ranks as an eyebrow-raiser.

Chris Sheridan goes on to speculate about what the Knicks might do if Plan A (LeBron) and Plan B (D-Wade) both fail. How about a Bosh/Johnson or a Stoudemire/Johnson combo in NYC?

While LeBron, Wade and Bosh are all playing coy about their free agency plans, Johnson is refreshingly honest about all the possibilities. Considering that he’s playing for one of the top teams in the East, it’s an interesting way to go.

A LeBron/JJ combo in New York probably isn’t going to happen. I have a feeling that LeBron will only go to the Knicks if he knows he’s going to play with Wade or Bosh. Usually championships are built around one excellent perimeter player and one excellent big man — think Kobe-Shaq, Parker-Duncan, Wade-Shaq — but Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen did make the 2/3 combo work very well in Chicago, though MJ made a living in the post. LeBron doesn’t like to play with his back to the basket.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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