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The Raptors Amir Johnson Loves Being A Dad

The Toronto Raptors Amir Johnson has a new number one love in his life and it shouldn’t surprise anyone that his one-year-old daughter Milli holds his heart. Being a Dad makes Johnson’s day no matter what else is going on in his life.



“For me, pretty much everything I do is for her now,” Johnson said. “I can’t look for myself now. I have a kid now and I just have to be the father-type and set examples. Every day my perspective just changes once you have a kid and I got that as soon as she was born. I have to be responsible – even though I was responsible. I have a mouth to feed and responsibilities and as a father, I definitely have to do that and I learned from my father. Basically you just grow up a little faster once you have somebody.”

As many parents know, the first thing you lose is sleep and the next thing you realize is what your own parents went through. As a young Dad, Johnson is sleeping lighter and doing everything he can for Daddy’s little girl.

“Less sleep,” said Johnson laughing. Less sleep and got to make sure you put your daughter to bed, give her a bath. If she’s up or sick, you have to be up for that. You are more alert now. You sleep a little lighter. That’s how it is when you have a kid, you just have to make sure. Especially, being so young, you just have to make sure everything is okay.

“It puts everything in perspective when I do stuff or when I go out. If I am seeing other young people, I feel like I have a say-so because I have a kid of my own and that’s when you know you are not a kid yourself. (What) your parents were teaching you, you get it now once you have your own.

“When my daughter was born, I called my Mom and apologized, I’m sorry. I know how it feels to be so overprotective and have someone to look out for with a kid at home. A new life is a beautiful thing.”

It’s not all sleepless nights and worry, Johnson knows the fun side of watching your own child discover the world for the first time.

“It is (fun),” Johnson said. “Just to hear their voice and see what they do. See how they do stuff for the first time or react to stuff for the first time. It is always fun. It is always hilarious. It is a beautiful thing. They know nothing. They (don’t) know anything about life, so it is just amazing to see them do stuff or react to stuff or feel stuff for the first time. This is priceless stuff.”


Johnson isn’t the only young father on the Raptors and having this many Dads in the locker room has to help with the chemistry and maturity the team is showing. At the end of the day, the Raptors locker room isn’t that much different from any other workplace and having things in common and a respectful and mature atmosphere makes everyone more productive.

“We have a lot in common,” Johnson said. “It’s easy to converse. It’s easy to be family oriented since we have kids around the same age. As you see in the hallway, we get a lot of gifts for our kids which is great. They treat us like family and we treat each other with respect, the kids with respect and everybody like family, so it’s good.”

Amir Johnson loves being a Dad.


Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.