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For Keldon Johnson, it’s high energy on and off the court

South Boston News
San Antonio Spur Keldon Johnson in a TV commercial with Manuel G. Rubio Sr., owner of Miracle Body and Paint. / September 09, 2020

For anyone who has had the chance to see the San Antonio Spurs’ Keldon Johnson play, it’s apparent his game is animated on the court. That high energy is now lending itself in helping Johnson become successful off the court, too, as he tests the waters of commercials and product endorsements.

Johnson recently made his first appearance in a commercial in the San Antonio area for Miracle Body and Paint. The business is well known throughout the San Antonio area and its owner, Manuel G. Rubio Sr., is basically a fixture at Spurs home games.

In the video Johnson brings his infectious smile and energetic style to the camera. The combination of Johnson and Rubio just seems to work as the Brodnax native announces the company as the “official collision center of the San Antonio Spurs.”

The commercial can be viewed online at:

Johnson’s selection to perform in the commercial should come as no surprise as his rookie season with the Spurs turned out to be a solid one.

Though Johnson’s first half of the season, pre COVID-19, was marked with appearances in the G-League’s Austin Spurs as well as with the San Antonio, his post COVID-19 play in the Orlando Bubble was all Spurs.

The 6’5”, 220-pound wingman posted his first double-double of the season on Aug. 11 against Houston. Johnson knocked down 24 points and gathered 11 rebounds along with drilling three treys in the win.

Two days later in the final game of the regular season, against the Utah Jazz, which the Spurs lost 118-112, he posted 24 points again.

Johnson’s rise to becoming a rookie player who saw a lot of court time came through consistency in his play. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is known for having his rookies wait their turn to play as he generally uses the first season, or maybe two, to help his young players mature before getting significant minutes.

Johnson’s success with the Austin Spurs — where he scored 630 points, had a 53 percent field goal percentage, pulled down 175 rebounds, with 75 assists, 24 steals and 18 blocked shots — laid the groundwork for him getting a quicker look from Popovich.

Another factor in Johnson seeing more playing time with the Spurs was also rooted in the fact that just before the NBA shut-down due to the coronavirus, Johnson had four or five games where he delivered solid minutes coming off the bench for the team.

Johnson’s numbers while playing in the bubble were quite impressive. The forward averaged 14.1 points and five rebounds per game in approximately 22 minutes of play per outing. He also had 1.1 assists, 1.1 steals and was good on 1.4 three pointers.

The Spurs were looking to become the first team to reach the playoffs 23 years straight. Those dreams were smashed in the final game of the season, with the Spurs falling to the Jazz and recording its worse record at 32-39 since Popovich joined the team. The win-loss record should have the Spurs in the mix for the No. 1 pick in the NBA’s next draft.

Still, Johnson looks to carry on the success he found at Kentucky, Oak Hill Academy and Park View High School. Popovich in recent interviews says Johnson — who he dubbed “The Mustang” earlier this season — is on pace to do great things in the NBA.

After defeating Houston 123-105 while in the bubble to keep their playoff hopes alive, Johnson, a rising fan favorite, said after that game that he does what is necessary to help the team win.

“Whether it’s hustling, running the floor — just doing whatever I need to do to help us win,” Johnson said. “Help from my teammates has definitely helped the game slow down for me.”

“That’s what he does. He’s a high-energy guy. He’s very physical. Very competitive. Very coachable. He’s just a winner,” Popovich said.

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