Joe Johnson not closing door on potential NBA return
Joe Johnson enjoyed a fantastic career in the NBA. The former 10th overall pick played in the league for 17 seasons, racking up seven All-Star nods along the way. Nowadays, though, the 38-year-old is playing in the BIG3 League, but it sounds like he would be open to making a return to the NBA — if the opportunity presents itself.
“I’d love to get back and play in the NBA,” Johnson recently told The Crossover. “It’s not my ultimate goal, it wasn’t my goal getting into the BIG3. But if the opportunity presents itself, I would take upon the challenge”
Johnson finished his last stint in the NBA with the Houston Rockets (2017-18), averaging 6.0 points on 38.1 percent shooting from the field (27.9 percent from beyond the arc), 2.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 22.0 minutes per outing. His career numbers, on the other hand, are much better (16.0 points on 44 percent shooting, 4.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists).
Following his last season in the NBA, Johnson stated that he wasn’t quite ready for retirement. However, he was unable to land a deal, which is likely why he wound up playing in the BIG3. Regardless, he still had the proverbial itch:
“I’m still playing,” Johnson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution after joining the BIG3. “I’d play at the Lifetime Fitness or rec center. It don’t matter. I just enjoy playing. I don’t take off from the game. It’s a love and passion I’ve developed from a young age and, to be honest with you, I don’t think it will ever go away.”
Whether or not Johnson will be able to land a deal with an NBA team this offseason is still unclear, but he certainly seems to be open to the idea.