guard Joe Johnson
made it clear to a judge in Georgia -- postpone his baby mama trial until AFTER the NBA playoffs ... or risk angering the entire team's passionate fan base.
As TMZ first reported, Joe filed a suit
against baby mama Shannon Beckton to be legally recognized as the father of their kid and share custody. The case was set to be heard between April 15 and May 5.
Like teammate Kris Humphries
, that trial window was a BIG problem for Joe ... since the Nets made the playoffs and it could easily conflict with court times. To get the date moved, Joe explained to the judge he's a key member of the Nets and "a vital part of that team's success."
Joe also argued that his absence violate his contract (worth $126 million) and could seriously "harm" the Nets' championship dreams -- which would mean less cash for him and less cash for his kid.
The judge agreed and postponed the trial.
Joe can put his money where his mouth is in the first Nets playoff game ... tonight.
Former Atlanta Hawks
star Joe Johnson
wasn't too attached to his GINORMOUS Georgia mansion -- TMZ has learned he listed the place for $4.7 mil after he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets.
Johnson purchased the massive 13,822 square-foot-pad back in 2005 for $3.8 mil -- the same year he signed with the Hawks. Fast forward to 2012 ... Johnson is traded to Brooklyn under a $119-million contract and it's sayonara GA.
The 7-bedroom, 9-bath crib is pretty AMAZING too ... 10-foot-high ceilings ...sleek modern decor ... movie theater ... massive game room ... infinity edge pool and spa. Plus, it sits on almost 2 acres of land.
Not gonna find that in Park Slope.
guard Joe Johnson
insists ... he's no jewel thief -- and now, he's lashing back against a lawsuit that says he stole $125,000 worth of bling from an Atlanta diamond dealer.Aydin & Company
filed a lawsuit against Johnson earlier this month, claiming the NBA star entered into a purchase agreement back in October 2010 for $125,500 worth of jewelry.
The items in question -- a white gold watch with diamonds, diamond beaded bracelet, black diamond stud earrings and a white gold bezel set rosary.
According to the suit, Johnson took the swag, but never foot the bill -- so Aydin's suing for the price of the jewelry PLUS legal fees, PLUS interest (which grows at a monthly rate of 2%) ... for a grand total of $266,333.05.
But sources close to Johnson tell TMZ ... the lawsuit is total B.S -- explaining, the owner of the store asked Johnson to wear the items on loan and allowed him to return them when he was done.
But when Johnson tried to give the items back, we're told the jeweler refused and slapped him with the bill instead.
Sources tell us, Johnson NEVER agreed to purchase the items and has since tried to return them on numerous occasions -- but no cigar.
A judge has yet to rule on the lawsuit.
Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson
has a $126-million contract tied to his name and now he's filed legal docs to make sure his son gets a piece of it ... TMZ has learned.
The All-Star guard filed paternity paperwork earlier this week in Georgia to legally establish himself as the father of his alleged 5-year old son, whose mother is named Shannon Beckton.
In the docs, Johnson says he still wants to test for DNA (just in case) ... but if he is the father, he is asking the judge for joint physical and legal custody, for his son to be able to inherit from him, and for his son to take on his last name.
A judge has yet to rule.
Most people don't dress up for Karaoke ... but the Atlanta Hawks
' $119 million man Joe Johnson
rocked a diamond watch the size of a fist when he grabbed the mic in Little Rock Tuesday night.
29-year-old Johnson hit Willy D's Rock 'n Roll bar in Little Rock, Arkansas ... and busted out a rendition of Jodeci
's "Come and Talk to Me
" in front of a crowded room ... and it wasn't that bad!
According to sources at the bar, Joe ran up a $125 tab on drinks for his friends and a few shots of Patron for himself.
And as far as tips are concerned -- sources at the bar wouldn't specify, but tell us, "He always takes really good care of us. He's a very generous customer."