The entire NBA is being hit hard by COVID-19 and the Boston Celtics are no exception.
Having a full roster is tough this season and that means replacement players must be signed just to field a full team to avoid a postponement.
The Celtics decided to make a signing that will turn some heads this holiday season.
They are hoping a former All-Star can turn back time and help them during this tough stretch of absences.
Free agent guard Joe Johnson is signing a 10-day deal with the Boston Celtics, sources tell ESPN. Johnson is returning to the franchise that drafted him 20 years ago and is expected to play tonight vs. Cleveland.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 22, 2021
Joe Johnson is officially back and will play in his first NBA game since 2018.
The seven-time All-Star, known as “Iso Joe”, is now looking to launch a final act in the NBA.
A Historic Career Continues
Johnson made his last All-Star Game in 2014 as a member of the Brooklyn Nets.
Yet the best years of his career came with the Atlanta Hawks, who he played for from 2005-2012.
As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski mentions, Johnson was actually drafted by the Celtics back in 2001.
JOE JOHNSON IS BACK IN THE LEAGUE.
Never forget what he did to Paul Pierce. Now he’s a Celtic 😂pic.twitter.com/DfxKg3Xxpr
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) December 22, 2021
He was taken No. 10 overall, only to be traded to the Phoenix Suns during his rookie campaign.
That trade is awful in hindsight, but the Celtics did eventually figure things out a few years later when they paired Paul Pierce with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
Johnson now makes his return to a 15-16 Celtics team that has a handful of players in COVID protocols.
Otherwise, signing a 40-year-old Johnson would not have been in the cards.
“Iso Joe” has stayed busy in the Big3 league that features a ton of former NBA stars.
He won two titles in that league and proved he was capable of competing against elite talent.
Seeing him on the court Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers will be an odd sight, but nothing is too strange in 2021 with the way COVID has impacted the game of basketball and the world as a whole.