New Chicago Bulls forward Alize Johnson gets it.
He understands what skill set has allowed him to find a niche in the NBA. He knows what put him on Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley’s radar, and he knows how to get Bulls fans in their feels.
Johnson tweeted this shortly after the news broke about his signing with the Bulls:
If any new Bulls player likens himself to the hard-working, fan-favorite Dennis Rodman, he’s already starting off his relationship with the fanbase on a positive note.
Bulls Fans Welcome Alize Johnson With Open Arms
One super-fan welcomed Johnson:
A second one is already calling Johnson a “GOAT.”
A third is clearly not thinking clearly, but hey, they’re excited:
Johnson should get a ton of opportunities to prove he’s worthy of the adulation from Bulls fans. He is set up to play a key role off the bench for Chicago, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he found his way into the starting lineup at some point during the upcoming season.
Alize Johnson is a Legit Rebounder
Don’t take Johnson’s Rodman reference lightly. He is an outstanding rebounder. The 25-year-old averaged 5 rebounds per game in only 10.5 minutes of action per contest.
Per 36 minutes, that comes to a very Rodman-like 17.1 rebounds. Take this for what it’s worth, but throughout Rodman’s Hall-of-Fame career, he only averaged more than 17.1 rebounds per 36 minutes once. That was in the 1994-95 season when he pulled down 18.9 per 36 minutes with the Spurs. The Bulls traded for him that summer.
Because of Johnson’s rebounding prowess, many are excited about his ability to help the Bulls win games. Andrew Miller of Pippen Ain’t Easy wrote:
Johnson can be a monster on the boards for the Bulls. He really makes an impact on the game on the offensive glass, where he averaged more than five per 36 minutes last season. And the 16.6 offensive rebounding percentage from last season is a tremendous mark that is also a career-high. It will be interesting to see how the Bulls can help facilitate the development of Johnson’s game. He increased his number of steals and blocks per game last season. But he likely won’t be the primary rim protector in the second unit for the Bulls with the likes of Simonovic and Tony Bradley taking up minutes at the five. Johnson can be used in a switchable role as he’s capable of defending really any position from the two to the five. He’s by no means an elite athlete, but he has a decent wingspan around 6-foot-9 with a respectable vertical leap. That allows him to at least contend on defense with most big men around the NBA. It’s just the raw effort that Johnson brings to the table that allows him to dominate on the glass. He’s got more of that Dennis Rodman-style rebounding effort and timing that allows him to post some elite efficiency in his numbers on the glass.
Let’s not compare Johnson to Rodman just yet. Quite honestly, if he’s even 3/4 what the Worm was in Chicago, the Bulls will have gotten the biggest steal of the offseason.
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