Has Joe Johnson justified the immense risk Ice Cube took in launching BIG3 basketball?
The veteran NBA swingman and newly minted BIG3 MVP and champion agreed to a one-year contract with the Detroit Piston, Stadium’s and The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes reported Thursday. In doing so, Johnson, 38, will become the first player to leverage his time in the upstart BIG3 league into an NBA contract.
Johnson reportedly had drawn the interest of the Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks and New Orleans Pelicans with his standout play in BIG3.
The Boston Celtics selected Johnson with the 10th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft. He played 17 NBA between 2001 and and 2018, representing eight teams and earning seven NBA All-Star selections in that time.
He appeared to have left the NBA last offseason, but he seemingly has forged a pathway back into the league via the BIG3, a three-on-three, half-court summer basketball circuit.
Cube, BIG3’s co-founder and leading proponent, congratulated Johnson via Twitter.
Another rapper, LL Cool J, also congratulated Johnson.
NBA sources told Haynes Detroit will waive Michael Beasley in order to create roster space for Johnson.
Perhaps Johnson will help the BIG3 become a revolving door, which leads to and from the NBA.