Vertical Pod with Woj: Marques Johnson

Adrian Wojnarowski

Five-time NBA All-Star and actor Marques Johnson joins Adrian Wojnarowski on The Vertical Podcast with Woj.

Johnson finds context with race and sports in the modern time set against his days at UCLA in the mid-1970s and his experiences in the racially divided 1980s NBA.

Johnson covers his All-Star years in Milwaukee, the indignities of the Donald Sterling Clippers and personal tragedy with the drowning of his son, Marques Jr.

He also discusses his successful acting career, including his iconic role in "White Men Can’t Jump."

1:15: Johnson’s successful acting career that was boosted by his time playing in Los Angeles.

3:37: Playing for John Wooden at UCLA and the disappointment of losing in 1974.

6:18: The social activism of the UCLA players during the 1970s, led by Bill Walton.

13:18: Wooden’s support of the team’s right to express themselves.

20:59: Did Johnson feel pressure to speak out on social issues as an elite athlete?

23:51: The racial dynamics of the NBA in the 1970s and 1980s.

27:12: Deciding not to play for Team USA during the 1976 Olympics.

30:08: Nearly wearing a white mask during warmups as a protest to the call for more white faces in the NBA.

36:51: Being traded to the Donald Sterling-owned Clippers in 1984.

42:20: Was Sterling’s racism well known by players around the league?

44:22: His comeback attempt with the Warriors in 1989.

48:09: Learning to forgive himself after his son died in a drowning accident.

51:37: Johnson’s iconic role in “White Men Can’t Jump.”

55:30: Filming “Blue Chips” with multiple NBA players and Bobby Knight.

Click here to download the podcast on iTunes, or listen here or on Yahoo Sports.

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