How Joe Johnson could win first NBA ring with Celtics


Joe Johnson gave Boston Celtics fans something to cheer about during a rough first half to the 2021-22 season. Now, he'll have a chance to earn his first NBA championship ring.

"Iso Joe" signed a 10-day contract with the C's through the hardship exemption in December. He originally was drafted by Boston in 2001 and played 48 games for the Celtics before being traded to the Phoenix Suns.

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Johnson went on to enjoy a long, successful career with the Suns, Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat, Utah Jazz, and Houston Rockets. The seven-time All-Star rejoined the Celtics at age 40 after not playing in an NBA game for two years.

Although his second stint with Boston was brief, it injected life into a team that was struggling to stay above .500. Johnson received a thunderous ovation from the TD Garden crowd upon checking in for his lone appearance, a Dec. 22 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. He sent C's fans into a frenzy when he hit a mid-range jumper late in the fourth quarter.

Johnson didn't receive a second 10-day deal, but he could still end up with a ring if the C's take care of business against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. That'll depend on whether the Celtics decide to hand out rings to players who were on the roster earlier in the campaign. Given the connection between Johnson and Boston, one would think that honoring "Iso Joe" with his first career ring would be a no-brainer.

The 2022 NBA Finals are set to begin at 9 p.m. ET Thursday at Chase Center. Coverage begins right here on NBC Sports Boston with Celtics Pregame Live at 8 p.m. ET.

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