Did a Former NBA Sixth Man of the Year Get Confused by the Media With a Sexual Offender With the Same Name?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about basketball and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the basketball urban legends featured so far.

BASKETBALL URBAN LEGEND: News reports mixed up NBA great Eddie Johnson with another former NBA player with the same name when the latter person was arrested for sexual assault of a minor!

Eddie Johnson was a famous NBA sixth man for a number of teams. A prolific scorer, Johnson has the somewhat notable distinction of having scored the most career points without ever making an NBA All Star team. He DID win Sixth Man of the Year in 1989, however.

After a long and impressive career, Johnson retired and began to get involved in broadcasting for the Phoenix Suns (where he played for a number of years).

It was while a broadcaster in 2006 that Johnson got the shock of his life. You see, there was ANOTHER Eddie Johnson who played in the NBA and confusion between the two led to some terrible news reports for Johnson and his family to watch.

Four years older than the Sixth Man of the Year award winner, “Fast Eddie” Johnson had a ten-year NBA career that actually saw him make TWO NBA All-Star Games.

However, once his career ended in 1987, Fast Eddie’s life went bad. He had drug problems and was arrested numerous times in connection with his drug problem. This all came to a tragic end in 2006 when Fast Eddie was arrested for molesting an 8-year-old girl. He is currently serving a life term in prison.

The tragedy took a bizarre turn when many media outlets CONFUSED THE TWO PLAYERS!!!

Eddie A. Johnson, the Sixth Man, saw HIS photo used along with the coverage of Fast Eddie’s arrest. Eddie A. is six foot seven, while Fast Eddie is six feet two!!! Eddie A. had never gotten into any notable police problems (some traffic tickets were all he had against his name) and yet he was confused with a child molester!

Suffice it to say that Eddie A. was quite upset, and considered suing for defamation. I do not believe he went through with it.

Still, I can’t imagine how annoying the situation must have been for the former NBA great.

The legend is…

STATUS: True

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