The accident reportedly occurred when Johnson, who usually rode his bike for 30 miles a day, hit a culvert, per the Chronicle:
“He was riding his bike and hit a culvert,” Johnson’s wife Claudette said. “There was construction. They are thinking he fell forward and broke his neck because there was no blood.”
Johnson had reportedly worked in the Rockets organization since its 1994-95 championship season. He had remained with the team even as it went through five head coaches (not counting interims), three general managers and two owners during his time in Houston.
Johnson is survived by his wide Claudette, his son Bijan and two stepchildren in Michael Mitchell and Ciara Brown.
A well-respected figure throughout the league, news of Johnson’s death sparked an outpouring of mourning and testimonies of his character:
Nooooooo not BJ Johnson. When I was an unproven rookie, he helped give me a lot of confidence that I had a bright future, even when I didn’t see it.. I wasn’t even on his team. He always had some words of encouragement, or just kept it real with me. Prayers to his family 🙏🏾 .
I’m stunned. Absolutely stunned. First Vaughn McClure and now BJ Johnson. BJ was one of the most generous, caring and humorous people I ever met with one of the greatest basketball IQs to boot. My prayers and condolences to his wife and his children.🙏🏽
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) October 16, 2020
Stunned and saddened about longtime Rockets scout BJ Johnson’s death. You won’t find a friendlier person in the NBA. So many players and scouts credited Johnson for helping them find their way in the league.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) October 16, 2020
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