- Jonathan Isaac made his long-awaited return from injury for the Orlando Magic
- Isaac hasn't played since August 2020 and felt his career may be over after injury setbacks
- He scored 10 points, helping the Magic stun the Boston Celtics 113-98
A sellout crowd of 19,196 inside the Amway Center rose to their feet to give Jonathan Isaac a standing ovation after the forward checked in for the Orlando Magic after two and a half years out with injury.
He played for 9 minutes and scored 10 points as the Magic stunned 2022 NBA Finalists Boston Celtics 113-98.
Isaac, 25, last played an NBA game on August 2, 2020, when he tore the ACL on his left knee in the bubble. He missed two and a half NBA seasons. The game against the Celtics was his first game under coach Jamahl Mosley.
Moreover, only three Magic players are still on the roster who played with Isaac before he was beset with injuries. Against the Celtics he was on a tight minute's restriction.
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Isaac reacts to NBA return
Isaac's return after 900 days was special. Coach Mosley made sure that he checked into the game alone to make the fans celebrate him. He finished with 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting, but getting on the court was the biggest achievement of the night.
He said that at some point during the recovery, he wanted to give up but God gave him the strength to keep going, p[er ESPN.
"There were days where I was like I don't know if I want to keep going. But then again, I have to thank Christ. Being able to go back to my faith and say God has me on this journey for a purpose. I know that I was made to play basketball. I was made to give glory to God on this stage."
Isaac's first spell on the court lasted just under 4½ minutes and was just 2-of-5 from the floor. He admitted that he was exhausted.
"That kind of first wind got to me. That last minute I could barely talk I was breathing so hard."
Markelle Fultz, Terrence Ross and Mo Bamba are the only current Magic players that played with Isaac in his last NBA game.
Magic among teams without NBA title
Sports Brief earlier reported on NBA teams without a title and Magic are in the list alongside the Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets and others.
Having joined the NBA as an expansion team ahead of the 1988-1989 season, the Orlando Magic became one of the hottest teams after signing the legendary Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway.
The duo made it to the finals in 1995, but they lost to Hakeem Olajuwon Houston Rockets.