John Sylvester Newman, Jr. (born November 28, 1963 in Danville, Virginia) is an American former professional basketball player. A 6' 7", 210-lb. guard/forward, Newman starred at the University of Richmond, before going on to play in the National Basketball Association. In his 16 seasons (1986–2002) in the NBA, he was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Charlotte Hornets, New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets, and Dallas Mavericks. He was called "J. New" by teammates and friends.
Newman graduated from Richmond in 1986 as the school's all-time leader in points with 2,383. He was known as an expert marksman in college, with a .532 career field goal percentage and .800 career free throw percentage mark.
Though Richmond was not known as a strong basketball program, Newman lead them twice to the NCAA Division I Men's Tournament. In the 1984 Tournament, Newman and the underdog, 12th-seeded Richmond Spiders upset the 5th-seeded Auburn Tigers, led by future NBA Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley, in the first round. They fell to the 4th-seeded Indiana Hoosiers in the 2nd round. In the 1986 NCAA Tournament, Richmond was seeded 11th in the East region and lost in the first round to 6th-seeded Saint Joseph's Hawks.
After college, Johnny was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2nd round, with the 29th overall pick, of the 1986 NBA Draft.
The Cleveland Cavaliers' group of selections in the 1986 NBA Draft was one of the best ever for the franchise, and among the best for any team. In that draft, the Cavaliers acquired the rights to future All-Stars Mark Price, Brad Daugherty, and Ron Harper. Since Harper and Newman played the same position, Newman was forced to ride the bench during his rookie season.
Newman joined the New York Knicks for the 1987-1988 season, and slowly worked his way into the starting lineup. Along with teammates Mark Jackson and Patrick Ewing, Newman lead the Knicks into the playoffs and averaged 19.0 ppg in an opening round loss to the Boston Celtics. In 1988-89, Newman further grew into his role in the starting five. He averaged 16.0 ppg and led the Knicks to the NBA's Atlantic Division title.
After the 1989-90 season, Newman signed as a free agent with the Charlotte Hornets, an expansion franchise in its 3rd year of existence.
Newman scored 12,740 points in his NBA career.
Johnny was married to actress Dawnn Lewis of A Different World and I'm Gonna Get You Sucka fame.