Washington Wizards: 15 greatest scorers of all-time

Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images /
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Washington Wizards
Photo by Mitchell Layton/NBAE via Getty Images /

Mention the name Gus Johnson to most sports fans and many of them will think of the play-by-play announcer that often loses his mind at the sight of any exciting play (and I do mean any exciting play). That is not the Gus Johnson that we’re about to discuss.

Instead, we will talk about the man who the then-Baltimore Bullets took in the second round of the 1963 NBA Draft. It didn’t take long for Johnson to make an immediate impact on the team; he averaged 17.3 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game as a rookie. He would put up similar production for the next seven seasons, as he put up no less than 16.5 points per night.

Although he entered the league at 25 years old, the former Idaho standout became known as one of the forefathers of above-the-rim play. The league was still very much based around fundamentals more so than athletic prowess at that time. So Johnson — along with players like Elgin Baylor — was seen as a revelation at that time.

Although he was a far better defender than he was a scoring threat — 25.2 of his 36.9 career win shares were defensive — Johnson had little trouble using his mid-range scoring and superior leaping ability to get his fair share of buckets.

While injuries ultimately ended his career at only 34 years of age, Johnson did more than enough to be recognized as one of the best scorers in franchise history. As of 2018, he ranks sixth on the Washington all-time points list.

Johnson may be just a name on a list to some fans, but for those who saw him play, he will be remembered as one of the game’s first true leapers.