Joe Johnson played on the other side of the East River Sunday night, and had a game mostly typical of this season. He scored 12 points, grabbed three rebounds and handed out three assists. Season averages. But unlike much of his time with the Nets this season, Johnson came away with a win as his new team, the Heat, beat the Knicks handily.
Johnson, who was bought out last week, admitted he enjoyed his time in Brooklyn -- "The good outweighed the bad for me," he said -- but added the possibility of a playoff run with players who avidly recruited him was too much of an enticement.
"This is my 15th season," Johnson said before the game, noting he originally intended to stay in Brooklyn. "I had a chance to get out and get a chance to play with a playoff-contending team. Obviously, I looked into it, talked with my agent, my family, and we all came to an agreement that it was probably the best thing to do."
Indeed, Johnson has a streak of eight straight playoff appearances, among the longest in the NBA, and his record shows he plays better in the post-season ... as Erik Spoelstra knows.
"We’ll adapt to him," Spoelstra said. "We always hoped we’d have an opportunity to get him, and now it finally happened . . . We’re really excited about this . . . To acquire a player of Joe’s class, someone that we feel fits our personality, our DNA, our culture, and to get him at this time of the year, where we feel he’s been playing his best basketball in the last month, we feel terrific about it."
Johnson also revealed that Dwyane Wade had been recruiting him for weeks before the trade deadline and that he'd like to end his career in Miami, where he he already has a home. "Love, to" he said. But asd the Miami Herald pointed out, the Heat will not have Bird Rights for thei late season addition and it will be difficult to hang on to him.
- Joe Johnson ready to move on after memory-filled tenure in Brooklyn - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN
- Miami Heat gives Joe Johnson warm reception, quick start - Laura Albanese - Newsday
- Why Joe Johnson decided coming to Heat was ‘best thing to do’ - Fred Kerber - New York Post
- Joe Johnson leaves, Nets come alive - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Joe Johnson says relationships with Miami Heat players clinched decision to sign with team - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
- Johnson says recruitment by Wade, Haslem, Amar'e sold him on Heat - Ira Winderman - South Florida Sun Sentinel
- Dwyane Wade’s sales pitch helped lure Joe Johnson to Miami Heat - Ethan Skolnick Miami Herald