I was shocked and very sad when I heard this news. Dennis Johnson, "DJ" to his fans, was an integral part of the success that the Boston Celtics enjoyed in the 1980's. He was the coach of the Austin Torres, an NBA Developmental team, and collapsed after a practice session. He was only 52. Back in the 80's I was very fortunate to attend many Celtic games in the Boston Garden, and though players like Larry Bird and Kevin McHale received most of the attention you can be sure that the Celtics would not have acheived their level of success without DJ as their point guard. "Dennis was a great player, one of the best teammates I ever had, and a wonderful person," said former Celtics teammate Larry Bird. A five-time All-Star and one of the NBA's top defensive guards, Johnson was part of the last Boston dynasty. He spent 14 seasons in the league and retired after the 1989-90 season.
Former Boston teammate Danny Ainge, now the Celtics' executive director of basketball operations, called Johnson "one of the most underrated players in the history of the game, in my opinion, and one of the greatest Celtic acquisitions of all time."
I was hoping that DJ would eventually have a shot at coaching the Celtics, but it's at times like these you realize how short life can be, so treasure it!