SI.com: How did you first learn you had been traded? Had you heard inklings of a possible deal earlier?
Johnson: My agent told me about four or five days before the trade that there was a rumor going around. He doubted it would happen, but he wanted me to know the rumor was out there. So the day of the trade, probably like 11 a.m., our old GM, Rick Sund, and our GM, Danny Ferry - they were telling me that the rumors were true, and that if anything goes down, it was probably going to go down by 4 p.m. that day.
I was like, "Cool. It is what it is."
SI.com: Really? That's it?
Johnson: Yeah. So around noon, I'm sitting there playing a video game, and I look at ESPN, and there it is: "Breaking news." And I had just gotten off the phone with them!
SI.com: Well, I guess they were basically done by the time they called you - or very close.
Johnson: Yeah, they were done by then, and I guess they wanted to call and tell me. But it's no hard feelings. I'm fortunate enough to be coming to a great situation, to play with a great point guard and a great big man.
Johnson went on to describe how he and a friend were playing NBA 2K12 and he immediately made the trade on the game and started playing with the Nets.
It almost sounded like he might have been expecting it and like many of Hawks fans everywhere could have been wishing for a fresh start. After watching his Atlanta career I can forgive him for his lack of emotion because basically that is Joe in a nutshell. He is as even keel as they come and in many ways that serves him well.