Longtime Houston Rockets scout Brent "BJ" Johnson died Thursday in a bicycle accident, per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. The 65-year-old Johnson typically rode his bike 30 miles a day, per Feigen.
"He was riding his bike and hit a culvert," Johnson's wife, Claudette, said via the Chronicle. "There was construction. They are thinking he fell forward and broke his neck, because there was no blood."
Johnson had been with the Rockets franchise since 1994 and was well respected in the basketball community. On Friday morning, the Rockets released a statement of Johnson's death:
"The Houston Rockets mourn the unspeakable loss of long-time personnel scout, Brent "BJ" Johnson. BJ was beloved and respected not only throughout the Rockets organization, but across the league and the basketball world. He was a part of the organization for 26 years making an immeasurable impact on the team's success on and off the court. We will miss his cheerful disposition, infectious smile and uplifting spirit. Our hearts are with Claudette, Bijan, Ciara & LeDon during this difficult time."
When the news of his death was announced Thursday evening, many around the NBA and those close to Johnson and the Rockets organization took to Twitter to mourn his passing:
Stunned and saddened about longtime Rockets scout BJ Johnson’s death. You won’t find a friendlier person in the NBA. So many players and scouts credited Johnson for helping them find their way in the league.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) October 16, 2020
Nooooooo not BJ Johnson. When I was an unproven rookie, he helped give me a lot of confidence that I had a bright future, even when I didn't see it.. I wasn't even on his team. He always had some words of encouragement, or just kept it real with me. Prayers to his family 🙏🏾 .— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) October 16, 2020
BJ was always willing to have a conversation. Even if it was in passing, just a warm-spirited person who genuinely cared how you were doing. This sucks.— Kelly Iko (@KellyIkoNBA) October 16, 2020
BJ Johnson of our Rockets family passed tonight. A scout a father, a friend, always a uplifting spirit. 1986 he joined Rockets as a scout and has been in that role till now. I honor my friendship with him from when he lived next door to Ralph Sampson in Va. Your loved RIP HOSS!— JOHN LUCAS ENT (@JLEnterprises) October 16, 2020