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Stanley Johnson Credits Masai Ujiri’s Constructive Criticism For Altering His Career: “To Tell Me I’m Bad At Basketball... It Takes A Different Type Of Man To Tell You That To Your Face And Not In A Pessimistic Way, In A Constructive Way.”

Stanley Johnson Credits Masai Ujiri’s Constructive Criticism For Altering His Career: “To Tell Me I’m Bad At Basketball... It Takes A Different Type Of Man To Tell You That To Your Face And Not In A Pessimistic Way, In A Constructive Way.”

Ever since joining the Los Angeles Lakers, Stanley Johnson has seemingly revived his career in the NBA as a role player. The 25-year-old was in a tough spot after leaving the Toronto Raptors. He was signed by the Chicago Bulls but he was waived by them during the preseason.

He later signed with the Lakers' G-League team. Following that, he was given an opportunity by the purple and gold and it is safe to assume that he accepted that opportunity with open arms.

In the 11 games he has played for the Lakers, he is averaging 6.2 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. He is doing this while shooting at a solid 51.0% from the field.

The turnaround in his career has been sensational, but Johnson revealed that the credit for it goes to the Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri. Ujiri apparently told Johnson that he was bad at basketball straight to his face.

Via The Undefeated:

“That was a real honest conversation. That’s what I needed to hear. In the NBA, honesty is not always the first and foremost thing that people want to give you because it’s not the easiest thing to say to people that are professionals. I’ve been playing basketball all my life. I’m pretty damn good at basketball, so to tell me I’m bad at basketball, it’s a hard conversation to have with a professional athlete.

“It takes a different type of man to tell you that to your face and not in a pessimistic way, in a constructive way. What are you going to do? Are you going to take [it poorly] or are you going to do something about it? I felt like I want to do something about it. I’m 25 years old. I know I’ve been fortunate. I’ve been in the league for a long time because I got in early, but I’m not even anywhere close to my prime, anywhere close to the player that I can be in my life.”

If it weren't for Ujiri's brutal honesty, Stanley Johnson might have stayed in a dark place in his career. But due to what Ujiri did for him, he improved his game instead of taking it as a setback.

Now Johnson is on the verge of getting himself a permanent spot on the Lakers' roster. If that happens, we all know who Johnson has to thank. Let's hope the 25-year-old finds a spot in the team.