[unrestricted] via Flickr
While his rookie season was disappointing, Johnston turned a corner and dominated the league during his second year. In particular, he led the league in minutes played, field goals, field goal percentage, free throws, points, and points per game and was second overall in total rebounds and rebounds per game. He was also named an All-Star and a member of the All-NBA First Team. Johnston followed this incredible season with several more, showing that he was much more than a one year wonder. During the course of his career, he would earn six All-Star appearances and would be named to the All-NBA First or Second team five times. He also won an NBA title as a member of the Warriors in 1956. Not a bad career for a guy nicknamed "Gabby."
Johnston didn't win any TBCB Player of the Game awards during his first season. But as you'll eventually see on this blog, he had a pretty stellar career record with the Belt. (If all this business about the Belt doesn't make sense to you, stay tuned for our upcoming post on frequently asked questions.) Unfortunately, Johnston's incredible Hall of Fame production came to an end when a knee injury suffered during the 1958-59 campaign ended his career.
Curtis Harris subtly awarded Johnston the 1954-55 MVP in the concluding post of Hardwood Paroxysm's Lost MVP series. Harris also previously wrote about Johnston in his Forgotten Warriors series. I suggest you read them both for more detailed accounts of Johnston's career.
For those still wanting more, you can see a brief Neil Johnston All-Star Game highlight at about two minutes and ten seconds into the following clip.