Kevin Johnson (born March 4, 1966 in Sacramento, California) is an American former National Basketball Association player for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Phoenix Suns. Originally drafted in 1986 to play professional baseball with the Oakland Athletics as a pitcher, Johnson chose to play basketball instead, and was selected by the Cavaliers for the 1987-88 season after three years as a star at the University of California, Berkeley.
On February 28, 1988, Johnson (along with teammates Mark West and Tyrone Corbin) was traded to the Suns in exchange for Larry Nance where he averaged 18.8 points and 9.5 assists a game for the next 10 years. He was selected an NBA All-Star three times and made the playoffs every year of his career.
The 1992-93 Suns, led by Johnson and power forward Charles Barkley, posted an NBA best 62-20 record. Narrowly escaping first round elimination versus the Los Angeles Lakers, the Suns made it to the NBA Finals, but eventually succumbed to the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls in six games en route to the Bulls' third consecutive title.
Johnson retired after the 1997-98 season, but returned briefly during the 1999-2000 campaign to spell the injured Jason Kidd during the playoff run. Johnson helped the Suns win their first playoff series in five years (and their only series victory between 1995 and 2005). But after Phoenix fell in the second round to Los Angeles, he retired for the second and final time. After his second retirement, Johnson spent some time as a studio commentator for The NBA on NBC.
Kevin Johnson currently concentrates on business opportunities and community involvement both in Sacramento, California and Phoenix, Arizona. In Sacramento, Johnson manages St. HOPE Corporation (SHC), a non-profit community development corporation designed to expand economic, educational, and social opportunities that lead to the revitalization of inner-city communities. Affiliated with SHC are six other separately incorporated non-profit entities, all founded by Johnson and all working in concert to achieve his inner-city objectives. In Phoenix, as president and CEO of The Kevin Johnson Corporation, Johnson oversees the operations of several subsidiary organizations specializing in real estate development and management, sports management, and business acquisition. A key component of The Kevin Johnson Corporation includes appearances and public speaking engagements for corporations, academic institutions, and community organizations.