SIXERS GOT A BRUISER AND A MENTOR IN AMIR JOHNSON!

By Mary Cunningham

Amir Johnson was the Celtics’ starting center for two seasons and joined the Sixers on a one-year, $11 million deal.

The 30-year-old Johnson is 6-9 and 240, will mentor the younger players and may be be the team’s starting power forward.

As the second-oldest player on the Philly roster after J. J. Redick, Johnson said he’s prepared for his new role and new position.

“Not only am I looking to be a mentor to the young guys, I’m looking to actually play, too,” he told the Boston Globe. “I’m taking the precautions of working hard this summer, slimming down so I can keep up with these young guys. Because in the Boston season, I was a little bulky.

“I am slimming down and I want to play with more energy and carrying that 3-point shot I had in Boston, shooting the three and doing everything I can to help this team.”

Johnson said he gained weight last offseason to help deal with bigger players while playing center. That may have affected his mobility and athleticism, which were issues last season.

“I was just keeping weight on me to play the center spot,” he said. “I try to keep my weight up, especially if I’m going into the season and I know the position I’m playing. Now that we’ve got a lead center in [Joel] Embiid, I want to slim down to be a bit more quicker, be more active on the glass, space out the floor.

“I feel like I haven’t played to the best of my ability even though I’ve played 13 years in the league. I have a lot more to give, and just being with a young team I feel like that’s going to make me better, and at the same time just be the player I know I can be.”

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