The Chicago Bulls signed hard-working forward Alize Johnson to fill what is likely the last spot on their 2021-22 roster.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on the signing, per Johnson’s agent:
While Johnson’s signing has some obvious upside based on his on-floor talent, what is also interesting is the 25-year-old’s similarities–both facially and play style–to former Bull Jimmy Butler.
Take a look at this side-by-side:
It’s a thing.
You’re lying if you say you don’t see the resemblance. If you’re wondering about Johnson’s play style, take a look at the GIF he tweeted confirming he’s on his way to the Windy City.
This kid knows how to push all the right buttons.
Twitter Reacts to Alize Johnson Signing With the Bulls
The Bulls had a busy day on Monday. In addition to signing Alize Johnson, they also signed Stanley Johnson.
The reaction to the signing came in hot and heavy.
“#Bulls obviously see some upside in 6-7 Alize Johnson. He’s been in the league three years, 2 with Pacers, 1 with Nets. Saw some action in playoffs. Averaged 5.2 pts, 5.0 rebs in 18 games with Nets last yr”
Mark Schanowski of NBC Sports tweeted: “Here’s the back-up PF. Alize Johnson is an explosive leaper with some offensive potential. Plays bigger than his 6’7” listed height. Bulls roster is now pretty much set with training camp starting 3 weeks from tomorrow.”
This wasn’t a reaction, but anytime Kevin Durant talks about anything basketball related, we should listen.
Durant sang the praises of Johnson in a video from the end of last season, which was posted here by Chicago sports insider Daniel Greenberg. Durant and Johnson were teammates in Brooklyn.
Durant said: “I love everything about Alize. Who he is as a person, his approach to the game, his work ethic, his story his journey, everything about him. I want to see him do well.”
Alize Johnson Has Heard the Jimmy Butler Comparisons Before
NBA.com’s Mark Montieth spoke with Johnson about his resemblance to Butler and the similarities of their play style and journey. Johnson told Montieth:
I get that a lot,” he said. “I went to the (pre-draft combine in Chicago). Everyone knows he played for Chicago, so when I went out there everyone was saying, ‘What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be in Minnesota.’ I heard a lot of jokes about that.” Johnson said he spent time and Butler talked to him about getting better every day. Johnson also discussed his approach: “I have to do things different,” he said. “Being the underdog I have to show some things that I can do consistently. Rebounding is effort. I’m all about hard work and getting into the gyms. Not really being the most athletic person, but just having the grit to go up there every time and get it is something that’s still in my blood. I have siblings back home and a family rooting for me, so when I’m up there grabbing rebounds, that’s what I’m doing it for.
The Rodman GIF and Johnson’s focus on defense and rebounding will be his ticket to meaningful minutes with the Bulls next season. His athleticism and willingness to accept a role will be key on a team with plenty of scoring.
He might not be Butler, but he could still be one of the more underrated free-agent acquisitions this offseason.
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