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Joe Johnson's NBA comeback was historically special

Joe Johnson's NBA comeback was historically special

The following article first appeared on BasketballNetwork.net:

After ending a three-year absence from NBA basketball, "Iso" Joe Johnson is back with the Boston Celtics. He played less than one minute in his return to the NBA, but was able to knock down a late-game jumper for the team that drafted him in 2001.

Now, only he and the prestigious Dirk Nowitzki have scored buckets for the same team as a 20-year old and a 40-year old. 

For those who don’t remember Johnson in a Celtics uniform during their famous Eastern Conference Finals juggernaut run in 2002, there’s a key reason. The Phoenix Suns sent Tony Delk and Rodney Ray Rogers (who was once famous for scoring ‌nine‌ ‌points‌ ‌in‌ ‌eight‌ ‌seconds‌ ‌against‌ ‌the‌ ‌Utah‌ ‌Jazz) away to Boston for Johnson in ‌a‌ ‌late‌-February‌ ‌trade.

Is there a reason the Celtics had no idea that Iso Joe would go on to be one of the most gifted scorers of the 2000s, toppling over 20,000 points for his career and counting? The Celtics coach at the time, Rick Pitino, couldn’t recognize young talent even if it started for him. Guess who the Celtics drafted No. 3 overall and let walk before the season even started? 

Chauncey Billups! Thanks Pitino...

In the present day, there is a chance Johnson might mentor Jayson Tatum and teach him how to become an even greater iso player than he already is. Of course, this is only inhibiting the part of Tatum’s game that doesn’t involve teammates and leads to the occasional Marcus Smart callout. But hey, it’s not like Johnson can do any harm to the Celtics’ chemistry and stylistic problems.

Would you have guessed that Johnson was a seven-time All-Star and an All-NBA player in 2010? That’s as many All-Star appearances as Scottie Pippen, Kevin McHale and Willis Reed – all while competing with Allen Iverson, LeBron James, Tracy McGrady, Paul Pierce, Dwyane Wade, Gilbert Arenas, Vince Carter and Carmelo Anthony during his peak in the East from 2007-14. 

Even if he doesn’t stay past his 10-day contract, he is now on a Mount Rushmore with only Dirk Nowitzki’s face beside him. Those accomplishments last forever.

With Lance Stephenson on the Hawks, Isaiah Thomas on the Lakers and now Johnson on the Celtics, it's only fitting to ask when Jamal Crawford is making his return. (He might be too busy with Quentin Richardson doing their ‘NBA Hooper Vision’ stream for league pass games, though.)

Here's another name that comes to mind...

It looks like Wade’s already made it clear that you can cross him off of your Christmas wish list. 

Check out more articles from BasketballNetwork.net here.

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