The LeBron James tweet that changed everything for Josiah Johnson
LeBron James follows 182 accounts on Twitter, and Josiah Johnson is one among them.
Johnson (@KingJosiah54 on Twitter) is a social media savant who has constructed a profitable profession utilizing sports activities and popular culture satire, finally successful over skilled athletes, entertainers, and a whole bunch of 1000’s on-line.
His comedic efforts embody sending witty tweets in real-time, typically paired with memes that reference films, TV reveals, and different moments in popular culture.
On Monday, he used a meme of Vice President Kamala Harris to troll the Nuggets after the Warriors took a 2-0 lead of their first-round playoff collection.
Johnson, who calls himself a one-man band relating to crafting comical tweets, doesn’t draw back from extra severe subjects, such because the vaccination standing of Nets guard Kyrie Irving, or the Ben Simmons saga with the Sixers.
However what occurs when the celebrity athletes you’re tweeting about be part of your listing of followers? In Johnson’s case, that features Hawks level guard Trae Younger, Donovan Mitchell of the Jazz, and naturally, Lakers celebrity James, amongst different high-profile sports activities figures.
Johnson, a former UCLA basketball participant, instructed The Publish he approached his job a lot in a different way in 2019, when athletes began to note his tweets and his following soared.
On the time, Johnson posted a clip from the film “Get Out” to signify Antonio Brown assembly Josh Gordon after he signed with the Patriots in Sept. 2019. Jordan Peele, the movie’s director, replied to the tweet, writing, “You win, Josiah.”
That second catapulted him to Twitter stardom. However there was one second that trumped all of his earlier social media success.
“However to get a cosign from LeBron James actually meant the world to me,” he stated of the time when James, “his favourite participant ever,” adopted him on Twitter. And on June 10, 2021, a day Johnson has since immortalized, the Lakers star referred to as him “the goat.”
“I’ll always remember it. Throw like a Josiah vacation get together for me. I in all probability will take off work for the remainder of my life simply in celebration of it,” stated Johnson, whose Twitter following elevated by 9,000 in a matter of 24 hours.
What separates Johnson from most social execs is that he hasn’t restricted himself to simply tweeting concerning the NBA.
“Everyone’s simply glued seeing what’s occurring [in the world], proper? For me, NBA Twitter taught me tips on how to create memes, however now I’ve realized you’ll be able to take these memes and apply them to something — politics, NFL, MLB, music, tradition. Something trending on the earth, there’s a meme for it,” Johnson stated.
“Loopy sufficient, I really did my largest surge final November. I placed on like 20 to 30 thousand followers simply through the election cycle with NBA Twitter-style memes.”
As Johnson’s listing of Twitter followers grew to become a sea of blue checkmarks, he realized he needed to method his satirical tweets with warning.
“LeBron following me… now I received to be tremendous selective in how I transfer and the kind of content material I put up, which is one other factor I realized as I’ve grown on this area, just like the those who I’m speaking about know me now,” Johnson stated. “Now, I all the time attempt to be respectful, attempt to do stuff that after they see, they’ll chuckle about and share with their teammates and issues from that facet.
“Nevertheless it undoubtedly has modified the way in which that I method social. I’m much more respectful of those guys. Imagine me, I’ll be satirical and I’ll touch upon various things occurring socially, however having respect for athletes as women and men — I believe we’ve seen lots of people type of coping with psychological well being. We put these athletes on a platform pedestal and don’t actually acknowledge and notice that they’re human, identical to us. The issues individuals say are out of pocket they usually wouldn’t say these issues if you happen to noticed [athletes] on the road.
“No matter you say, you’ve received to have the ability to defend no matter you’re placing on the market. And that’s how I attempt to method this factor from a stage of respect and understanding that they’re human beings identical to me. They make errors. They’ve emotions. They’ve household.”
Earlier than he grew to become “much more grounded” on Twitter, Johnson stated he was “undoubtedly much more ridiculous and out of pocket.”
“Clearly, I’m getting older now. I’ve received a household and youngsters and simply making an attempt to point out them the precise solution to do it,” he stated.
“With tales that at the moment are popping out as we speak, I simply chew my tongue out of respect for the events concerned. So, I let this stuff fly, or then there was the Aaron Rodgers state of affairs. I’ve a ton of respect for Rodgers as a person and issues he’s carried out within the NFL, however while you lie about being vaccinated, particularly with all of the loopy stuff occurring on the earth, you need to get clowned. And I would be the one to do it.”
Johnson’s followers name him “the king of #NBATwitter” — a nod to his deal with, KingJosiah54, which boasts over 200,000 followers. That made for a clean transition to a reoccurring host seat on “NBA Twitter Stay,” the app’s NBA present, which can be broadcast by Turner Sports activities.
He additionally juggles co-hosting the “Outta Pocket” podcast on Wave.television, and the “No Chill” podcast with Gilbert Arenas, together with a rotating portfolio of name offers.
Most not too long ago, Johnson landed writing roles on the Netflix collection “Colin in Black and White,” primarily based on the lifetime of the previous 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and OWN Community’s “Cherish The Day.”
Earlier than all of that, although, Johnson was working “18-20 hours a day” as a author, producer, and inventive for networks together with Comedy Central and Fox Sports activities. There have been additionally stops at NFL Community and different desk jobs alongside the way in which.
He co-created Comedy Central’s animated sitcom, “Legends of Chamberlain Heights,” which lasted two seasons, all of the whereas rising the cable channel’s social media platforms.
Johnson has all the time had a foot within the sports activities world. In truth, he’s the son of NBA alum Marques Johnson, who spent over a decade within the league — largely with the Bucks and Clippers. The elder Johnson was chosen third general by Milwaukee within the 1977 draft and now works as an analyst for the Bucks with Bally Sports activities.
Johnson bonded with Kaepernick about his father’s enjoying profession in the future within the author’s room for the Kaepernick-produced Netflix collection.
Johnson, a Trenton, N.J. native, has carved his personal path, making a reasonably penny doing issues his means and pushing the boundaries on social media. However turning into an web sensation wasn’t initially within the playing cards for him.
“I used to be a historical past main on scholarship at UCLA,” he stated. “I wished to type of exist within the shadows. My dad is a colour commentator and an analyst. He’s an actor and he’s carried out a ton of stuff… I type of joke with my associates about it now. You don’t should be a former NBA All-Star and Corridor of Famer to have the opportunity now to essentially exist and function on this area.”
Johnson has made such a reputation for himself within the NBA social media and broadcast areas that he goes by his personal guidelines now.
“If I put up the suitable meme that will get Jordan Peele’s consideration, I do know individuals will come to me. So now I’ve realized I need to deliver these individuals to me. I don’t ever exit now and search gigs anymore, search any of that sort of stuff. It’s extraordinarily validating and simply reveals that every one the exhausting work and energy that I put into it, it’s beginning to repay,” he stated.
“Social [media] is sort of a drug. I’m not going to say like clout chasing, however while you see issues working it’s that instantaneous gratification of having the ability to drop a tweet and robotically and it has a thousand retweets inside a few minutes. It’s a extremely gratifying expertise. And I crave it, and I actually stick it out now and have turn out to be so good at it now that manufacturers attain out to me. Typically, they’re like, ‘Oh, make our [social media] sizzling. Develop our numbers.’ I’m simply glad to be part of. S–t I might have by no means imagined, you understand, having the ability to make cash off of it as a result of it didn’t exist once I was a child. So to have the ability to thrive in these areas is f–king superior.”
Johnson needs different social media customers to know that they can also revenue from their very own content material.
“I’ve embraced it. I actually take nice delight in making an attempt to put that basis and assist different individuals, particularly those that appear like myself, notice the worth and fairness that they’ve on this state of affairs to have the ability to monetize their very own social in their very own platforms,” Johnson stated.