Joe Johnson was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 2001, and now the 40-year old swingman is back in the NBA and playing for the team that called his name two decades ago. The newest Boston Celtic made his debut on Wednesday (December 22), playing on a 10-day hardship contract. "It’s amazing to be back here 20 years later,” Johnson said. “It’s still surreal to me.”
"Iso Joe" making his return to the NBA has made for headlines given Johnson's advanced age. Johnson had been away from the NBA since 2018, but made major noise in Ice Cube's Big3 League.
“The BIG3 was everything for me,” Johnson said. “Shoutout to Ice Cube for allowing me and giving me a chance to put my skills on display, man, and go out and have fun every weekend. That was special. I got a chance to play with guys that I hadn’t played with since college."
His time in the Big3 led to Johnson getting the call to suit up for the C's. NBA teams are shorthanded due to spikes in COVID 19 cases amongst active players. Johnson won the 2019 BIG3 championship and was named the league MVP in his rookie year; becoming a social media sensation for the Big3.