It was August 2, 2020. Then Jonathan Isaac, Orlando Magic winger played the last game in the strongest basketball league in the world – NBA. However, it ended badly for him – an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). During rehabilitation he had problems and in March last year he had another operation – hamstring in his right leg. Because of this, Isaac did not play in the NBA for more than two years. Prior to his injury, he averaged 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.3 blocks and 1.6 steals in the 2019–20 NBA season.
A great comeback in the NBA
On Monday evening, 25-year-old Isaac returned to the NBA after 904 days! “Isaac stood at the bench, had a brief chat with coach Jamahl Mosley, and calmly took off his match shirt. He turned onto the pitch, put on a mouthguard and stepped onto the floor to play his first game in over 900 days,” ESPN wrote.
The player appeared on the court in the fifth minute of the first quarter of the game against NBA finalists from the previous season – Boston Celtics and nearly 20,000 fans. of the audience gave him a standing ovation. He was also warmly welcomed by Jayson Tatum, the star of the visiting team. A moment later, Isaac scored his first points after a nice, individual action and a throw from deviation.
In this matchup, Isaac, who entered the tournament in 2017 with the sixth pick in the draft, played nine minutes and scored ten points. He made four of seven field goals (2/3 three-pointers). He also had three rebounds, an assist and two steals.
Thank you Magic for not giving up on me. It was a surreal experience, especially since the fans were really excited. In the first quarter I had my first little crisis. At the last minute, I could barely speak because I was breathing so hard. With the second substitution in the second half, I started to relax and just felt good,” Isaac revealed after the match.
The Orlando Magic winger also revealed that during treatment he had doubts about continuing to play in the NBA.
“There were days when I didn’t know if I wanted to move on and return to the sport. On the other hand, I have to thank Christ. It was thanks to him that I was able to come back, I still had faith. God chose me on this journey for a reason. I know I was made to play basketball,” added Isaac.
Magic teammates did not hide their great joy that the player finally returned to the NBA courts. Italy’s Paolo Banchero, the #1 draft pick last year, revealed that while Isaac didn’t play, he was a significant player in the Orlando team.
Jonathan was one of the first guys to text me after I got to Orlando. He was a great locker room leader for everyone, a positive voice, sending messages in group chat all season. He just did all the little things you do when you’re a good teammate,” Banchero said.
“It’s great to see him back on the pitch after such a long time. He immediately won the love of the fans and helped the team win. It was amazing to play with him,” added Banchero.
Isaac’s comeback is the most spectacular in the NBA since last January. It was then, also after more than two and a half years of break due to serious injuries
The Orlando Magic basketball players unexpectedly won against the Boston Celtics 113:98 and broke an impressive series of nine victories in a row.
The Orlando Magic is only 13th in the Eastern Conference with 18 wins and 29 losses. It is ahead of only two teams: the Charlotte Hornets and the Detroit Pistons. The Boston Celtics are the leader in the East (35 wins and 13 losses).
Tristin is an accomplished author and journalist, known for his in-depth and engaging writing on sports. He currently works as a writer at 247 News Agency, where he has established himself as a respected voice in the sports industry.