City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

November 23, 2011
Mayor Johnson nominated for basketball Hall of Fame

Mayor Kevin Johnson is about to co-host the California Hall of Fame ceremony. In the meantime, he's been nominated for another shrine.

Johnson - who achieved stardom as a point guard for the NBA's Phoenix Suns long before he entered politics - was added recently to the list of nominees for the Basketball Hall of Fame's class of 2012,'s Scott Howard-Cooper reported Tuesday on Twitter.

Howard-Cooper noted that Johnson is a long shot for induction into the Hall of Fame, but described him as a "credible candidate." For you basketball junkies, Johnson averaged 18 points and nine assists per games in 12 seasons.

"It's an honor to be even considered for the Hall of Fame," Johnson said in an email. "The success I enjoyed in basketball is a tribute to all the support I received throughout my career: the values instilled by my family, the guidance of my coaches, the commitment of my teammates over 12 seasons, and the support of fans in Phoenix and Sacramento who always had my back and believed in me."

Earlier Tuesday, Johnson was speaking with reporters about the Dec. 8 induction ceremony for the California Hall of Fame, which he is co-hosting with fellow Sacramento native Lisa Ling at Memorial Auditorium. The mayor was asked whether he deserved to be in the California Hall of Fame and he replied he was "trying to get to the NBA Hall of Fame" first.

"I haven't done enough yet (to be worthy of the California Hall of Fame)," he said.

Johnson will follow the California Hall of Fame ceremony with an after-party/fundraiser at downtown's Park Ultra Lounge. The headliner of that event is Magic Johnson, who is being inducted into the California Hall of Fame earlier in the night.

Oh, and Magic is already in the NBA's Hall of Fame.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kevin Johnson of the Phoenix Suns takes it to the hole in a 1997 game against the Sacramento Kings at the America West Arena in Phoenix. Jose Luis Villegas/Sacramento Bee

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

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