Nets All-Time Top 25: No. 17 Joe Johnson

Deep-shooting guard delivered big moments and three playoff appearances

The selections for the Nets All-Time Top 25 Team were made by the author, with no input from the Brooklyn Nets organization. Selections were based on a combination of individual performance, team success and their contribution to it, and longevity with the franchise.

When there’s just 1.3 seconds left on the clock, there’s not much time for anything. But it was enough time for Joe Johnson.

With the Nets trailing the Denver Nuggets by two points at Barclays Center on Feb. 8, 2016, Johnson curled around the top of the key, accepted the inbounds pass and put up a 25-footer off one leg. The shot that dropped through for a 105-104 Brooklyn win was Johnson’s seventh buzzer-beating game-winner in less than a decade, by far the most in the NBA.

It also served as the perfect coda for Johnson’s time in Brooklyn, as he played just four more games as a Net before accepting a buyout three weeks later.

Johnson left behind a legacy of big moments in Brooklyn. Five of those buzzer-beaters came with the Nets, starting with a jumper to break a tie and win a double-overtime game against Detroit on Dec. 12, 2012 at Barclays Center, 107-105. More followed, delivering wins against Milwaukee, at Phoenix and at Oklahoma City.

Acquired in a trade from Atlanta on July 11, 2012, Johnson helped the franchise launch its Brooklyn era with three straight playoff appearances. When the Nets defeated the Toronto Raptors in 2014 to win their first playoff series since 2007, Johnson scored 26 points while playing 45 minutes in the decisive win, including 13 points in the fourth quarter of the one-point victory.

Against the Heat in the conference semifinals, Johnson made 5-of-7 3-pointers and scored 19 points in the Nets’ Game 3 win, then poured in 34 points in the final game of the series.

Johnson played 288 games for the Nets over four seasons, averaging 14.7 points, 34.5 minutes per game and shooting 37.8 percent from 3-point range. He averaged 16.3 points in 2012-13 and represented Brooklyn in the NBA All-Star Game in 2013-14, one of four seasons in which Johnson shot at least 40 percent from 3-point range. He ranks fourth in franchise history with 516 3-pointers made.


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