His recent G League assignment notwithstanding, one would be hard-pressed to call Philadelphia 76ers rookie Isaiah Joe’s basketball journey anything but a success story so far. After hearing his name called near the back end of the second round on draft night, he locked down a spot on the squad and went on to play major minutes over a five-game stretch in January.
When he is eventually recalled from the Delaware Blue Coats, he may even find himself in Doc Rivers’ rotation once again.
Saturday was not his best day, though, especially from a wardrobe standpoint.
Was Isaiah Joe Wearing a Bootleg Jersey?
From a distance, the inconsistency in Joe’s appearance when compared to that of his teammates could be tough to spot. However, anyone with the killer combination of a sharp eye and a second-grade education could tell you something was amiss when he took the court in Delaware’s regular-season finale.
The bold, blue lettering on his bright white jersey may have been as slick as ever, but the name on the front of his kit was, well…different.
Here is Joe — as screen-grabbed by The Athletic’s Derek Bodner — manning the wing for the Blue ‘Coets’ of Delaware:
Checking in on Isaiah Joe's appearance for the Delaware Blue Coets pic.twitter.com/2DySvpzb6b
— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) March 6, 2021
Fans were quick to seize upon the misspelled jersey, which was bootleg-like in its loose approach to the English language.
“That French Canadian?” wondered one commenter, who was quickly answered by another, stating, “Nah, it’d be Bleu in that case.”
“Well…they get an E for effort,” read another reply to Bodner’s tweet.
“That’s that phonetic way of spelling how it’s pronounced in hoagiemouth,” added a fourth commenter.
The G League Blues
Although Rivers framed Joe’s move to the G League bubble in Orlando, Florida as little more than a mechanism by which the former Arkansas standout could get some much-needed court time, it has been a rough go for him so far.
He debuted with the developmental squad on Friday, and while the Blue Coats picked up a win over the Salt Lake City Stars, Joe struggled mightily to find the bottom of the net. In a team-high 34 minutes on the floor, he made just two of his 14 shot attempts and missed nine of 10 from deep.
The 21-year-old finished with just five points in the game, although he did add four rebounds, two assists, two steals and a blocked shot.
Jersey snafu aside, Joe had a slightly better outing against the Memphis Hustle on Saturday, finishing with 12 points. However, he continued to misfire at a high rate, making just five of his 14 shot attempts. Consequently, the Blue Coats lost the game 106-95.
Back to Philly
When he was sent down, it was expected that Joe’s time in the G League would be brief. Following his reassignment, Rivers indicated that he would be back on the main roster sooner rather than later.
“We’re gonna need him, but we just felt like with the All-Star break coming, there’s an opportunity to play a lot of games,” he said.
In any case, he may have played his last game for the Blue Coets.