Former NBA players remembered Dennis Johnsonfor his athletic ability and his infectious smile Sunday during a memorial service where there was far more laughter than tears.
"In my lifetime I have never met such a dynamic person," former Boston Celtics teammate Cedric Maxwelltold the crowd of nearly 200 people gathered in the David Chapel Baptist Church in Austin. "He was one of the greatest players of all time."
Johnson, who was part of three NBA championship teams with Boston and Seattle, died Thursday after collapsing following practice with the Austin Toros, the NBA Development League team he coached. He was 52.
Bill Waltonand Robert Reedwere among those in the crowd along with Celtics Coach Doc Riversand Texas Longhorns Coach Rick Barnes.
A framed No. 3 Toros jersey and an enlarged picture of Johnson were surrounded by flowers near the altar. His wife of 31 years, Donna, and his three children, Dwayne, Denise and Daniel, sat in one of the front rows.
A five-time all-star and one of the most feared defensive guards in NBA history, Johnson spent 14 seasons in the league and retired after the 1989-90 season at the age of 35. He played on title teams with the Celtics in 1984 and 1986 and with the SuperSonics in 1979, when he was the finals MVP.
Johnson will be buried Friday in Gardenia, Calif.
· SECOND OPINION FOR WADE:Heat G Dwyane Wadewill seek a second opinion early this week before deciding whether to rehabilitate his dislocated left shoulder or have season-ending surgery to repair the joint.
"The sooner the better," said Miami Coach Pat Riley, who also is the team's president.
If Wade chooses rehab, he could return to the lineup in about six weeks.
-- From News Services