Seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson hasn’t played in a regular season NBA game since the 2017-18 season when he was traded from the Jazz to the Rockets before the deadline and played in 55 games combined. Since then, he’s popped up in Pistons camp but mostly been spending his time dominating the Big 3, where he is the reigning, two-time MVP.
However, as the NBA has faced a player shortage this season due to more than 100 players entering COVID-19 protocols, Johnson has gotten a chance to return to the Association, inking a 10-day with the Celtics on Wednesday and immediately suiting up that night against the likewise shorthanded Cavs.
The Celtics, spurred on by 34 points from Jaylen Brown, were cruising in the closing minutes and with the game in hand, they put Johnson in the game to the delight of the crowd, as he returned to the court he started his career on in Boston.
Joe Johnson checks in for his first NBA action since 2017-18! pic.twitter.com/PQ2Pkh34R9
— NBA (@NBA) December 23, 2021
Almost immediately, Iso-Joe went to work with a bucket that looked like thousands we’ve seen before from Johnson, as he worked his way to the midrange, got his defender on his back, and sidestepped into a fadeaway that found nothing but net.
ISO JOE!!! pic.twitter.com/WK3GoE7a4b
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) December 23, 2021
It’s vintage Iso-Joe and, if there is any silver lining to the absences this season, it’s that we’ve gotten to see some new faces get NBA minutes and some old friends get one more crack at playing on an NBA floor.