July 5, 2022

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The Sports Fanatics

Joe Johnson’s NBA, Celtics return ‘surreal’

Joe Johnson obtained a warm welcome at TD Yard on Wednesday night and if for any who may possibly have skipped it between holiday getaway vacation, it was not as a lover. 

Johnson, nicknamed “Iso Joe” for his ability to score on the certain participate in, signed a 10-day contract with the Boston Celtics ahead of their tilt towards the Cleveland Cavaliers. It arrived 20 several years following he produced his NBA debut with the crew and 3 yrs due to the fact he final performed in the league. 

The crowd chanted “We want Joe” and on his entrance, it erupted into cheers. Johnson, 40, scored the final factors of the 111-101 victory with an isolation jumper above Justin Anderson. 

“We know what he is,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka mentioned, by using ESPN. “Everyone stated it as they walked in [the locker room]: ‘Joe’s a bucket.’ Which is what he is and he’s constantly been, and so which is not gonna change.”

Johnson reported he had a heads up from his agent on Tuesday about a opportunity provide from the Celtics, who have been dealing with a depleted roster for the reason that of COVID-19 protocols. The league relaxed its rules for signing gamers by way of hardship waivers to help the depleted rosters as the Omicron variant spreads.

He been given the get in touch with in the hour and hopped a flight three hrs afterward headed to Boston. 

“It can be incredible to be again below 20 decades later on,” Johnson stated just after the match. “It really is still surreal to me.”

Johnson’s route again to NBA

He was the Celtics’ No. 1 over-all select in the 2001 draft, but was traded absent midseason and under no circumstances performed for Boston all over again. The shooting guard has been at household in Minor Rock, Arkansas, working out with his 14-yr-aged son, who also performs basketball, through ESPN. 

The final video game he performed in was on Might 28, 2018, even though with the Houston Rockets. It was Sport 7 of the Western Meeting Finals. The upcoming fall he was minimize by the Detroit Pistons through education camp. 

The gap among video games set a record for time amongst game titles with the exact group, for each ESPN. His was 19 decades, 308 days and bested that of Los Angeles Lakers middle James Edwards, who previously established it at 14 yrs, 331 days.  

He also became the second-oldest participant in the NBA driving the Miami Heat’s Udonis Haslem. He is the only participant currently on an NBA roster who has performed against Michael Jordan. 

Johnson dominated Major 3 

Justin Anderson #1 of the Cleveland Cavaliers attempts to block Joe Johnson #55 of the Boston Celtics shot through the fourth quarter of the activity against the Cleveland Cavaliers at TD Backyard on December 22, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Picture by Omar Rawlings/Getty Pictures)

Johnson told reporters in October he was not performed and wasn’t prepared to retire from the league still.

Johnson starred in the Huge 3 while absent from the NBA, earning MVP honors even though breaking the league’s scoring document. He led all gamers in assists and steals for each match and tied for 3rd in rebounds. 

He received two Large 3 titles and performed for TeamUSA at the AmeriCup very last February. He hadn’t supplied up on his return to the NBA, but wasn’t offered he would make it.

“I wouldn’t say give up, but I did not have significant hopes,” Johnson explained, through ESPN. “My son’s 14, so he retains me in the health club. We perform and work and do the job, and I usually speak to him [and say], ‘Just work. Even when you cannot see what’s subsequent, you just gotta go on to operate.'”

Johnson played for the Phoenix Suns, Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Utah Jazz, Warmth and Rockets about his 17-period occupation prior to Wednesday evening.