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Joe Johnson
JoeJohnson.jpg
Johnson playing for the Hawks.
Free agent
Position: Small Forward / Shooting Guard
League: NBA
Personal information
Full name: Joseph Marcus Johnson
Born: June 29, 1981 (1981-06-29) (age 41)
Little Rock, Arkansas
Nationality: Flag of the United States.png American
Physical stats
Listed height: 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight: 240 lbs (109 kg)
National Basketball Association career
Debut: 2001 for the Boston Celtics
Career information
High school: Little Rock Central
(Little Rock, Arkansas)
College: Arkansas (1999–2000)
NBA Draft: 2001 / Round: 1 / Pick: 10th
Selected by the Boston Celtics
Playing career: 20012018, 2021-present
Career history
2001–2002 Boston Celtics
20022005 Phoenix Suns
20052012 Atlanta Hawks
20122016 Brooklyn Nets
2016 Miami Heat
20162018 Utah Jazz
2018 Houston Rockets
2021–2022 Boston Celtics
Career highlights and awards
Medals
Men's basketball
Representing the Flag of the United States.png United States
World Championships
Olympic Bronze Medal.png Bronze 2006 Japan
NBA.com profile profile

Joseph Marcus Johnson (born June 29, 1981) is American professional basketball player who is currently a free agent. He played high school basketball for Little Rock Central High School and college basketball for the Arkansas Razorbacks. After two years with Arkansas, he declared for the 2001 NBA Draft where he was drafted 10th overall by the Boston Celtics.

Johnson is a seven-time NBA All-Star and has also played for the Phoenix Suns, Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat, Utah Jazz, and Houston Rockets, while having also represented the United States national team. While playing for the Hawks, he earned the nickname "Iso Joe" for his skills on isolation plays. He is one of 49 NBA players to score 20,000 career points.

Early life

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Johnson was a member of the William E. Thrasher Boys & Girls Club as a youngster and attended Little Rock Central High School, a school that had produced other athletes including Baseball Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson and Bill Dickey, as well as football player Fred Williams and collegiate football coach Houston Nutt.

College career

In his freshman season at Arkansas in 1999–2000, Johnson was named to the SEC All-Freshman team and SEC All-Tournament team after averaging 16.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 2.0 steals per game. Johnson led Arkansas to the 2000 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament championship.

In his sophomore season in 2000–01, Johnson was named to the All-SEC second team and SEC All-Tournament team, while also receiving honorable mention All-American honors. In 30 games, he averaged 14.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.4 steals per game.

Professional career

Boston Celtics (2001–2002)

Following his sophomore season at Arkansas, Johnson declared for the 2001 NBA Draft where he went on to be selected with the 10th overall pick by the Boston Celtics. Through the first half of the 2001–02 season, Johnson played 48 games for the Celtics and made 33 starts, as he averaged 6.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. He was later traded to the Phoenix Suns on February 20, 2002 along with Randy Brown, Milt Palacio, and a first-round pick in exchange for Rodney Rogers and Tony Delk.

Phoenix Suns (2002–2005)

Johnson became a force with Phoenix as he averaged 14.0 points per game in his three and a half seasons with the Suns, becoming a clutch three-point shooter as he averaged 39.3% from the three-point arc during his tenure with the Suns.

During the 2004–05 campaign, Johnson and the Suns posted a 62–20 record. Johnson's three point accuracy improved dramatically between 2004 and 2005, shooting 30.5% on threes in 2004 and 47.8% in 2005, and shooting .556 in the 2005 Playoffs. In the playoffs, Johnson required surgery to repair a left orbital bone fracture sustained following a dunk attempt against the Dallas Mavericks in the second round. Johnson missed the remainder of the series against the Mavericks as well as the first two games of the Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs. When he returned, Johnson wore a face mask for protection. The Suns fell to the eventual NBA champion Spurs, 4 games to 1.

Atlanta Hawks (2005–2012)

Johnson with the Hawks in February 2010, shooting over John Salmons of the Bucks.

In the summer of 2005, Johnson became a highly touted restricted free agent and expressed a desire to leave the Suns to assume a larger role on the Atlanta Hawks. Johnson grew upset with Phoenix's initial offers to re-sign him feeling they were well below his market value. This rift eventually led to Johnson requesting the Suns not match Atlanta's $70 million offer. On August 19, 2005, a deal was finalized and Johnson was involved in a sign-and-trade deal with the Hawks for future teammate Boris Diaw and two future first-round draft picks.

In his first season as a Hawk, Johnson led Atlanta in several categories: points (20.2 per game), assists (6.5), steals (1.26), three-point field goals made (128) and minutes (40.7). He was one of only five players in the league to average at least 20 points and six assists in the 2005–06 season, along with Allen Iverson, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Gilbert Arenas. Johnson was also the only Hawk to play in all 82 games in 2005–06.

Johnson scored a career-high 42 points on March 7, 2006 against the Golden State Warriors and recorded a career-high 17 assists on March 13, 2006 against the Milwaukee Bucks. He recorded his first career triple-double on February 1, 2006 with 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists against the Charlotte Bobcats.

Johnson continued his development in the 2006–07 season, when he averaged 25.0 points, 4.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game. His scoring average ranked ninth in the league. Johnson also shot a career-best 47.1% from the field and was subsequently named to the 2007 Eastern Conference All-Star team, replacing the injured Jason Kidd.

In 2008, Johnson made the 2008 All-Star Game as a reserve. He also was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month twice during the season. Johnson averaged 21.7 points per game on the season, leading the Hawks to their first playoff appearance in nine years. In Game 4 of the Hawks' first-round matchup against the Boston Celtics, Johnson scored 35 points, including 20 in the 4th quarter, leading the Hawks to a 97–92 victory.

Johnson with the Hawks in March 2012.

Despite finishing with the worst record (37-45) among the 2008 NBA Playoffs contingent, the Hawks played very even with the heavily favored and eventual NBA champion Boston Celtics, taking the Eastern Conference No. 1 seed all the way to Game 7. The year marked a turning of the page for the Atlanta franchise, once considered among the least successful in pro sports.

The following year, Johnson registered his second career triple-double on December 23, 2008 in a Hawks win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. He eclipsed the 10,000-point plateau for his career with his first basket during a 110–107 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on January 31, 2009, a bank shot assisted by Marvin Williams. On March 19, 2010, Johnson hit a game-winning buzzer beater in overtime against the Charlotte Bobcats.

On July 8, 2010, Johnson re-signed with the Hawks to a six-year, $123.7 million contract, which, at the time, made him the NBA's highest-paid player. The signing occurred during one of the most star-studded free agency summers in league history, highlighted by LeBron's "Decision" TV special. Among others who signed high-profile deals were Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Amar'e Stoudemire, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Dirk Nowitzki.

Brooklyn Nets (2012–2016)

On July 11, 2012, Johnson was traded to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Jordan Farmar, Anthony Morrow, Jordan Williams, Johan Petro, DeShawn Stevenson, and a 2013 first round draft pick. After a slow start to the 2012–13 season, Johnson began to pick up his play in December, with a 32-point game against the Golden State Warriors on December 7 and a game-winning buzzer beater in double overtime against the Detroit Pistons on December 14. After scoring 33 points in a road win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on January 2, he hit another game-winner in double overtime two days later to beat the Washington Wizards. In a 113–111 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on February 19, Johnson made the game-tying three-pointer with just under three seconds to go in regulation and went on to hit the game-winning pull-up jump shot in overtime. With this win, the Nets snapped a thirteen-game losing streak against the Bucks. The next game the Nets played, Johnson injured his left heel and was forced to miss three games. He made his return on March 1 against the Dallas Mavericks.

On November 15, 2013, Johnson made his first game-winning basket of the season against the Phoenix Suns as he went in for a layup to give the Nets their first road win of the 2013–14 season. On December 16, 2013, Johnson recorded a career-high 10 three-pointers in a 130–94 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. In the third quarter, Johnson scored 29 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field including 8-of-10 three-pointers. On January 2, 2014, after the Nets were down by sixteen points, Johnson made his second game-winning basket of the season to lead the Nets to a 95–93 win to give Oklahoma City Thunder its second home loss of the season. Johnson later earned his seventh All-Star Game selection.

Johnson with the Nets in 2014.

In just the second game of the 2014–15 season on November 1, Johnson scored a season-high 34 points on 14-of-23 shooting to help the Nets defeat the Detroit Pistons, 102-90. On February 25, in a game against the New Orleans Pelicans, he became just the seventh player in NBA history to record 18,000 career points and 1,600 career three-pointers made.

On November 14, 2015, in a loss to the Golden State Warriors, Johnson appeared in his 1,072nd NBA regular season game, matching Michael Jordan for 77th on the all-time list. On November 28, in a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, he extended his streak of making at least one field goal to 900 regular season games, the longest active streak. He extended that streak to 919 games on January 6, 2016 in a loss to the Toronto Raptors. Three days later, he hit two three-pointers against the Detroit Pistons, thus surpassing Peja Stojaković for 11th on the career three-pointers list. On January 24, in a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, he became the 31st player in NBA history to reach 40,000 minutes. On February 5, he recorded season highs of 27 points and 11 assists in a 128–119 win over the Sacramento Kings. On February 8, he recorded 12 points and 8 assists against the Denver Nuggets, and hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to lift the Nets to a 105–104 win. In that game, he passed Scottie Pippen for 52nd place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. In the following game two days later, Johnson failed to score against the Memphis Grizzlies, going scoreless in a regular season game for the first time since December 6, 2003, ending the NBA's longest active streak with at least one field goal. He had a basket in 937 straight games. On February 25, Johnson was waived by the Nets in a buyout agreement.

Miami Heat (2016)

On February 27, 2016, Johnson signed with the Miami Heat. The next day, he made his debut and first start for the Heat in a 98–81 win over the New York Knicks, recording 12 points, three rebounds and three assists in 30 minutes. In his second game for the Heat on March 1 against the Chicago Bulls, Johnson scored 24 points and passed Reggie Theus for 50th on the NBA's career scoring list. On March 12, he scored a season-high 28 points in a 112–104 overtime loss to the Toronto Raptors. Johnson helped the Heat advance to the second round of the playoffs, where they were defeated 4–3 by the Raptors.

Utah Jazz (2016–2018)

On July 8, 2016, Johnson signed a two-year, $22 million contract with the Utah Jazz. He joined the Jazz with the intention being to come off the bench behind Gordon Hayward. But with an injury to Hayward during preseason, Johnson was thrust into the starting line-up in his absence. He made his debut for the Jazz in their season opener on October 25, scoring a team-high 29 points in a 113–104 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. With Hayward's return to line-up on November 6 to face the New York Knicks, Johnson came off the bench for the first time since December 9, 2003. On February 8, 2017, Johnson highlighted a 27-point performance with six three-pointers on eight attempts in a 127–94 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. On April 15, 2017, Johnson scored a team-high 21 points off the bench and hit a game-winning floater at the buzzer to give the Jazz a 97–95 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series. Eight days later in Game 4, Johnson again paced the Jazz with 28 points off the bench to give them a 105–98 victory and tie the series with the Clippers at 2–2. The Jazz went on to eliminate the Clippers with a 104–91 victory in Game 7, closing out the first-round series 4–3 to earn the franchise's first postseason series victory since 2010.

Johnson missed 21 games early in the 2017–18 season while dealing with a right wrist injury.

On February 8, 2018, Johnson was acquired by the Sacramento Kings in a three-team trade that involved the Jazz and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Three days later, he was waived by the Kings before appearing in a game for them.

Houston Rockets and BIG3 (2018-2021)

On February 14, 2018, Johnson signed with the Houston Rockets. He made his debut for the Rockets later that day, scoring nine points in 31 minutes off the bench in a 100–91 win over the Sacramento Kings.

In March 2019, Johnson signed to play in the BIG3.

On September 19, 2019, Johnson returned to the NBA, signing with the Detroit Pistons. He was later waived by the team on October 21, 2019, with final cuts looming.

On August 27, 2019, Johnson was named BIG3 MVP. On September 1, 2019, he won his first BIG3 championship with the Triplets, defeating the Killer 3's.

Johnson competed for Overseas Elite in The Basketball Tournament 2020, helping them to the semifinals. He was named to the All-Tournament team.

On September 4, 2021, Johnson won his second BIG3 MVP title.

Return to the Celtics (2021)

On December 22, 2021, Johnson signed a 10-day contract with the Boston Celtics to return to the franchise that drafted him after the team was granted a hardship exception. His appearance that same night against the Cleveland Cavaliers marked a 19-year, 305-day gap between his stints with the Celtics, which is the longest gap in NBA history. He also made his lone basket in that appearance, making him the second player along with Dirk Nowitzki to score a basket with the same team at the age of 20 and at the age of 40. Joe Johnson is currently an NBA free agent.

National team career

On March 5, 2006, Johnson was one of 23 NBA players named to the 2006–08 United States national team and played for the United States national team in the 2006 FIBA World Championship. He helped USA win the bronze medal by defeating Argentina in the third place game after a loss to Greece in the semi-finals. In nine games, Johnson averaged 7.3 points.

In February 2021, Johnson was selected to the 14-player roster for the final round of the 2022 FIBA AmeriCup qualification. On February 19, he scored 11 points and had a team best plus-25 point differential in a 93–77 victory over the Bahamas. On February 20, he had 11 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 blocks in a 96–75 victory against Mexico.

NBA career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2001-02 Boston 48 33 20.9 .439 .273 .769 2.9 1.5 .7 .2 6.3
2001-02 Phoenix 29 27 31.5 .420 .333 .778 4.1 3.6 .9 .4 9.6
2002-03 Phoenix 82 34 27.5 .397 .366 .774 3.2 2.6 .8 .2 9.8
2003-04 Phoenix 82 77 40.6 .430 .305 .750 4.7 4.4 1.1 .3 16.7
2004-05 Phoenix 82 82 39.5 .461 .478 .750 5.1 3.5 1.0 .3 17.1
2005-06 Atlanta 82 82 40.7 .453 .356 .791 4.1 6.5 1.3 .4 20.2
2006-07 Atlanta 57 57 41.4 .471 .381 .748 4.2 4.4 1.1 .2 25.0
2007-08 Atlanta 82 82 40.8 .432 .381 .834 4.5 5.8 1.0 .2 21.7
2008-09 Atlanta 79 79 39.5 .437 .360 .826 4.4 5.8 1.1 .2 21.4
2009-10 Atlanta 76 76 38.0 .458 .369 .818 4.6 4.9 1.1 .1 21.3
2010-11 Atlanta 72 72 35.5 .443 .297 .802 4.0 4.7 .7 .1 18.2
2011-12 Atlanta 60 60 35.5 .454 .388 .849 3.7 3.9 .8 .2 18.8
2012-13 Brooklyn 72 72 36.7 .423 .375 .820 3.0 3.5 .7 .2 16.3
2013-14 Brooklyn 79 79 32.6 .454 .401 .815 3.4 2.7 .6 .1 15.8
2014-15 Brooklyn 80 80 34.9 .435 .359 .801 4.8 3.7 .7 .2 14.4
2015-16 Brooklyn 57 57 33.9 .406 .371 .852 3.9 4.1 .7 .0 11.8
2015-16 Miami 24 24 32.1 .518 .417 .765 2.8 3.6 .9 .1 13.4
2016-17 Utah 78 14 23.6 .436 .411 .818 3.1 1.8 .5 .2 9.2
2017-18 Utah 32 3 21.9 .420 .274 .833 3.3 1.4 .4 .2 7.3
2017-18 Houston 23 1 22.0 .381 .279 .952 2.8 1.7 .3 .0 6.0
2021-22 Boston 1 0 2.0 1.000 .0 .0 .0 .0 2.0
Career 1277 1091 34.6 .441 .371 .802 4.0 3.9 .8 .2 16.0
All-Star 6 1 16.8 .390 .310 .000 .8 1.3 1.2 .0 8.8

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2003 Phoenix 6 0 27.3 .275 .154 .400 4.3 1.3 .7 .3 5.3
2005 Phoenix 9 9 39.4 .504 .556 .697 4.3 3.3 1.1 .4 18.8
2008 Atlanta 7 7 39.3 .409 .444 .909 3.9 4.0 .3 .0 20.0
2009 Atlanta 11 11 39.0 .417 .353 .622 4.5 3.5 1.3 .0 16.4
2010 Atlanta 11 11 40.0 .387 .220 .810 5.1 5.0 .9 .3 17.9
2011 Atlanta 12 12 41.4 .439 .429 .810 4.6 3.3 1.1 .1 18.8
2012 Atlanta 6 6 40.5 .373 .250 .750 3.5 3.5 1.3 .2 17.2
2013 Brooklyn 7 7 38.7 .417 .256 .889 3.1 2.7 1.1 .0 14.9
2014 Brooklyn 12 12 39.1 .533 .415 .837 3.8 2.9 .5 .3 21.2
2015 Brooklyn 6 6 41.5 .362 .293 .792 7.7 4.8 1.2 .0 16.5
2016 Miami 14 14 35.1 .430 .283 .875 4.7 2.5 .6 .2 12.1
2017 Utah 11 2 29.7 .436 .333 .733 3.9 2.5 .5 .1 12.9
2018 Houston 8 0 6.8 .353 .000 - 1.3 .4 .0 .1 1.5
Career 120 97 35.5 .427 .339 .779 4.2 3.1 .8 .2 15.2

Personal life

Johnson's mother, Diane, is a former state psychiatric hospital nurse. She raised her only son by herself in Little Rock, benefiting from the help of a close family that included her mother and brothers. She was diagnosed in 2008 with multiple myeloma, a rare and typically incurable cancer of bone marrow plasma cells. She died in 2018.

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