The Nets waived seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson Thursday, after nearly four seasons as the most consistent player in Brooklyn. Johnson leaves the team as their franchise leader (in the Brooklyn era) in points scored, games played, games started, and minutes played, both in the regular season and in the playoffs.
Since the team acquired him for flotsam and draft picks in June 2012, the quiet, reserved Johnson has had some of the team’s biggest and loudest moments. Let’s remember some. (Thanks to The Brooklyn Game social media guru Elizabeth Swinton for tracking most of these videos down.)
His first game-winning shot against the Detroit Pistons, a step-back from 20 feet that splashed through as time expired to win the game in double overtime.
This one wasn’t a buzzer-beater, but it put the Nets up for good against the cross-borough rival Knicks, in one of the first games between the two teams with the Nets in Brooklyn.
Then came a big crunch-time game against the Bucks, when Johnson hit a game-tying three in regulation and the game-winner in overtime.
There was his game-winning floater against the Phoenix Suns as time expired on November 15, 2013:
A little over a month later came The Shot That Changed The Nets’ Season: a twisting fallaway over Serge Ibaka that kicked off a 34-17 end to the 2013-14 season.
He nearly saved the best for last, hitting a game-winner in what was one of his final games in a Nets uniform: a banked-in three-pointer with the Nets down two as time expired.
It wasn’t only game-winners. There was Johnson’s 29-point third quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 16, 2013. His eight three-pointers in the quarter are an NBA record that still stands today.
It wasn’t even the only time Johnson picked up more than 20 points in a quarter.
Don’t forget the filthy crossovers…
And the clutch playoff performances…
Johnson also gave us a glimpse into his mindset during crunch time in a revealing multimedia interview in 2013.
Johnson made it clear from day one that he wanted to be in Brooklyn to help the team win. He was a consummate professional who served as a veteran to the young guys and a rock on a team full of inconsistency. Johnson was hardly an All-Star by the time he left, but he gave the franchise the lion’s share of its most memorable moments since the team moved to Brooklyn.
Thanks for everything, Joe.