Reserve sophomore guard John Johnson should have known better. Minutes after coach Jamie Dixon said in his postgame news conference that Johnson was sick and that was the reason he didn’t play in Pitt’s season-opening win versus Mount St. Mary’s, Johnson gets on Twitter and tells the world – or more exactly his 2,183 followers – that “I’m not hurt, I’m not sick.”
Not only should Johnson never send out messages about his playing status on Twitter, but he was extremely insensitive to teammate Cameron Wright, another sophomore guard who played his heart out on the day his father passed away.
It had to be extremely difficult for Wright to be at the game, but Wright decided to play to honor his dad’s memory. He was a spark plug off the bench. Dixon was choked up afterward when talking about Wright’s ordeal.
But that wasn’t all Johnson did. When friends on Twitter asked about the game he answered their questions.
Friend: “Yo bro, you didn’t play?”
Johnson: nah cuz, smh (shaking my head)
On Wednesday, Johnson sent out some cryptic messages. “Basketball is more political than the election.”
Here’s another: “Hard work doesn’t always pay off.”
And this is why college athletic departments have employees whose jobs are to monitor the Twitter accounts of athletes.
It’s easy to understand Johnson’s frustrations. He is watching a true freshman come in and start ahead of him. And according to Dixon, Johnson made great strides over the summer in his transition to point guard. Dixon praised him last Friday after Pitt’s second exhibition game.
Lots of players would be frustrated with the situation, but that doesn’t mean you have to go on Twitter and complain about it, especially when a teammate is going through a difficult time.
Johnson has a couple of options. He can play his role this season and see if he can team with James Robinson next season in the backcourt. Or he can transfer to another school before the first semester ends, so he can play in the second half of next season.
No one would blame Johnson if he does leave, but whatever he decides, Johnson owes it to his teammates to go out about his business in the right manner.
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