Australian forward Daniel Johnson has come to a mutual agreement with his Polish team Stelmet Zielona Gora to part ways.
Daniel Johnson - Courtesy Piotr Jedzura via Stelmet Zielona Gora
Former Adelaide 36ers big man Johnson, who enjoyed a great start to his European career with Zielona Gora, found that over recent months his court time decreased following the introduction of a new coach and a new style of play. His last game for his former Polish side was overnight where he played 8 minutes for no points or rebounds in an 84-76 win over Wikana Start Lublin in the Tauron Basket Liga.
I have no hard feelings. We just weren't the right fit for each other. The style of play I am best suited to is different to what the coach wants to play at Zielona Gora. I under stand that and have no bad feelings about leaving." - Daniel Johnson
In his first season in Europe, Johnson played 10 games for Zielona Gora's unsuccessful stint in Eurocup were he averaged 7.1 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. He averaged 5.9 point and 2.5 rebounds per game in the Tauron Basket Liga in Poland.
"It was Daniel's first season in Europe. It is not easy to move into another contintent and to make an immediate impact playing in a different league", Walter Jeklin, the team's general manager stated.
"DJ is a real pro in terms of his approach. He was never late for any practice. He gave all his best. But after the coaching change his role on the team has changed, too, and he wasn’t fully satisfied with Sašo Filipovski's system. We challenge the highest goals. Perhaps it would be better for him to join a team of a different caliber, where the pressure is a little different than here. DJ has expressed a desire to return home and to look for other options for himself. We wish him all the best."
"I would like to thank Daniel for his commitment here. I wish him best of luck both in life and within his new team”, added coach Sašo Filipovski.
"Every coach has his own philosophy in terms of guiding the team. I hope DJ finds a club where his way of playing will make both sides happy."
"I do not have a new team yet but hopefully I can have that sorted out soon. Thank you to the club and I wish them the best with the remainder of the season”, stated Daniel saying goodbye to the staff, the teammates and the fans.
Johnson's departure increases speculation that he is likely to re-sign with the Adelaide 36ers back in the Australian NBL following the season-ending injury to BJ Anthony and the team's late season run towards making the finals.