What more does Joe Johnson have to do to secure a spot back in the NBA? The narrative of age slowing down certain players on the tail end of their career has to stop soon. It’s understandable that owner’s and GM’s look to have players who are in their prime and are at a reasonable age to play the game at a high level. But sooner or later, one of these teams will realize what having a true veteran like Johnson can do wonders for their team going forward.
Jamal Crawford was finally signed by the Brooklyn Nets last week. Despite taking nearly a year off of play, he stayed ready and kept himself in tip top shape. Johnson has done the same for himself as well. Looking at how phenomenal he has looked over the past year, Johnson has been on a hot streak and he continues to find ways to get himself back on an NBA roster.
Johnson has never been a leading factor on a championship team. But that’s okay! With his skill set and size on the floor, he was no question once a big factor on a contending team. Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire loved what Johnson brought to their Phoenix team in the early 2000’s. Even Deron Williams at certain points had found some success with Johnson as well in Brooklyn. Despite being past his prime, Johnson can still give teams a boost on or off the floor.
Many believed the Big 3 League was the first step to Joe Johnson’s access back into the NBA. What more could you ask from him? Johnson just dominated the entire league cooking everyone that was on the floor along with hitting game winners after game winners. Johnson would wind up becoming MVP of the season and even secured his first Big 3 championship in the meantime.
After the Big 3 season, Johnson would indeed return to the NBA; but only for a short time. Detroit could have really used both Johnson and Derrick Rose as two veteran, vocal leaders coming off the bench. The Pistons have been in dire need of some success for a long time and needed all the right pieces to get to that next level. It’s unfortunate that the team waived Johnson before the 2019-20 season began.
Now, Johnson is participating in The Basketball Tournament. Trying to catch an eye of an NBA GM, he is working as hard as he can to prove he can still play. Through his few games he has played, he has been the difference maker for Overseas Elite putting on a clinic to say the least. It is only a matter of time that he has to keep hooping outside before someone gets their eye on them. If a team does not pick up Johnson by early next season, then the end just may be near.
The best thing for Johnson is to continue to hoop. As long as he believes he is NBA ready, continue to put on a show on the outside so teams can figure out what they’re missing. Of course the NBA is more of an elite competition compared to the Big 3 and The Basketball Tournament. Johnson continuing to play the game he loved will hopefully pay off come soon.
The wait should be over and Joe Johnson needs to be back in the NBA. His presence is way too valuable for a team and any contender should love to embrace him. Just imagine the difference he could make on a team in Milwaukee or one of the LA teams? Johnson has been a leader on and off the floor for decades now and his value is still the same as it was before.