Joe Johnson Signs With Pistons After MVP Stint in Big3

Liam McKeone

The Detroit Pistons have added veteran shooting to their bench in the form of Joe Johnson ahead of the 2019 season. That’s the boring way to look at it. The fun way to view it is that Johnson, A.K.A. Iso Joe, has become the first player to successfully pivot from a season in Ice Cube’s Big3 league to another NBA contract.

Johnson was MVP of this year’s league, and led his team to a championship. The 37-year-old certainly wasn’t going up against NBA-level competition, but he showed enough to warrant several tryouts and a roster spot. It’s a pretty big signing for the Big3 as far as how that competition is seen by NBA teams, though. Not everyone is going to start getting signed because they can cross up a 40-year-old and hit a four-point shot, but Johnson proved he can still shoot the ball at a high level, and shooting is in high demand in today’s NBA.

Johnson won’t be making an impact for Detroit outside of a few classic Iso Joe buzzer-beaters. But they’ll appreciate the veteran mentorship he can provide, and he’ll be happy to be back in an NBA locker room after a year spent out of the game.