Milk Carton Cases: Exhuming Kevin Johnson


You remember Kevin Johnson: he’s this guy. Coming back to you? He’s also this guy… and this guy too. “Oh, KJ!” you’re saying to yourself. Now you’ve got it.

KJ was quite the player back in his day. As the point man in charge of powering the dynamic Suns teams of the early 90’s–most notably the ’92-’93 squad that pushed MJ’s Bulls to the brink–he played with an excess of heart and displayed a penchant for piling up assists. Yet KJ is often overlooked when discussing the great point guards of the game. Don’t get me wrong, KJ is no first-ballot Hall of Famer, but he certainly has his place in the game’s history (for many reasons, including being a pioneer for point guards with ferocious dunking abilities–along with another guard from his era, who will likely find himself as the topic of a future Milk Carton Case).

Well, now we can all remember KJ for something more than his posters and dimes (and that comeback stint for the Suns’ playoff run in 2000). Thanks to slamonline‘s  The Slam Wire, penned by Marcel Mutoni, we now know that Johnson is also a “Bad Landlord” (click here for full post).

Apparently, as SportsbyBrooks first posted, Johnson is failing to keep many of the residencies that he owns in the Oak Park district of Sacramento in good living condition.

According to and the series of articles they have written on the topic since mid-October, KJ purchased the buildings in the area with the intent of restoring or rebuilding them. As of yesterday, this still had not happened.

One article noted that of the 37 properties that Johnson’s organization owns, half have been “cited for code violations in the past decade, some multiple times; many have been vacant for years.” (click here for full article)

The situation has gotten so bad that OPUS, Oak Park United Against Slumlords (uh, you can’t just leave out the A in your acronym OPUS–who came up with that for you, George W.?), are now involved.

Keep in mind that Johnson’s community work over the years has earned him national recognition, including being named USA Today’s “Most Caring Athlete” in 1995 and being inducted into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame in 1997.

And Now he’s a slumlord.

This certainly shouldn’t taint his legacy–there is much good that KJ has done (see the St. Hope Academy he founded in Sacramento in 1998). This incident just doesn’t happen to be part of that good. I’d say it’s more part of the less good, maybe even the bad. Definitely not the good, though.

Anyway, until the next forgotten player finds his way before my eyes and then onto this blog, let me wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. Especially you, Kevin Johnson.


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