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The Rush: COVID brings Joe Johnson out of retirement, gets bucket in Boston debut

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7-time NBA All-Star Joe Johnson came out of retirement to serve as a replacement player for the COVID-plagued Celtics and made his debut in Boston’s win over the Cavaliers on Wednesday. Plus, Cleveland fans had a good chuckle when Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow gave his theory about why his team in Cincinnati has remained largely unscathed by COVID, in comparison to other teams around the NFL and the rest of the sports world.

Video Transcript

- Oh, here we go. Iso Joe!

JARED QUAY: Your eyes are not deceiving you, Joe Johnson is back on the hardwood. Iso Joe was back in the NBA last night for the first time since 2019. He signed a 10-day contract with the Celtics on Wednesday, because--

- Well, COVID.

JARED QUAY: The Celtics, with six players in COVID protocols, hosted the Cavaliers, who have eight players sidelined. COVID sucks, but it's pretty cool that a 40-year-old Joe Johnson ended up coming out of NBA retirement to play for a team that drafted him 20 years ago in 2001. And it's not like Joe's been sitting around on his ass for the last few years. Instead, he's been sitting on his knees doing insane yoga poses, getting after it in the gym, and crushing it in the BIG 3. Shout out, Iso!

- Joe Johnson!

JARED QUAY: Joe didn't see much action on Wednesday night, but Boston still got the W anyways.

- Johnson in the lane. Johnson takes it. Oh, yeah! Iso Joe doing his thing!

JARED QUAY: You want to know who Cleveland fans love right now?

- Is that a trick question?

JARED QUAY: Joe Burrow. Cleveland and Cincinnati are rival cities whose residents love [BLEEP]-talking to each other. But who needs enemies when you got friends like this?

- You know, we're doing a great job with our COVID protocols. Fortunately, there's not a ton to do in Cincinnati, so it's not-- you know, nobody's going out to clubs and bars and getting COVID every weekend.

JARED QUAY: Oh, man! Joe threw a tight spiral directly at his own damn city!

- Haters gonna hate.

JARED QUAY: But I think he's on to something. As of Wednesday, the Bengals only had one player in COVID protocols. But when you look at leagues across the country, teams in the sexier cities are seeing bigger outbreaks.

- Genius.

JARED QUAY: Like the Nets and Knicks in New York, or the Lakers and Rams and Chargers in LA. Interestingly, the Clippers are doing all right, though. And that's because you really can't go out in the city when you're on the Clippers, I promise you. They'll be keeping Paul George on the line. Austin Reaves and Avery Bradley, y'all on the Lakers, y'all be able to start getting into the club. I'm sorry, partner. You an All-Star, but you're on the Clippers, bruh.