“The Miami Heat announced today that James Johnson will miss the beginning of camp because he fell short of our conditioning requirements. Once he fulfills and maintains those requirements, he will rejoin the team.”
That was the statement the Heat put out the first day of training camp, although Johnson’s agent later clarified the issue was Johnson didn’t hit a weight goal, it was not his conditioning. Johnson has now hit that goal and is back with the team.
“Day 1 of earning my respect back,” Johnson said after practice. “That’s the only emotion I had is earn my respect back.”
If Johnson were in his first year in Miami, missing the first half of camp and the preseason might be an issue. However, as a veteran in their system coach Eric Spoelstra said he doesn’t expect it to slow Johnson much.
“The fast-tracking has been the three years that he’s been with us. It’s not a shock to him what our system is,” Spoelstra said. “We have practice time to be able to get it done, but it’s good to have him back out here. Like I said, it’s hopefully behind us now. We have some practice opportunities over the next couple of days and three more preseason games to get everybody on the same page.”
Johnson has battled injuries the two seasons he’s been in Miami, he’s hoping this season to be healthy and contribute to a team looking to make some noise after the addition of Jimmy Butler this summer.