Joakim Noah left the Chicago Bulls this summer in free agency, only two years after being named Defensive Player of the Year and an MVP candidate. At one point, it was thought that Noah would retire as a career-long Bull. But injuries and excessive mileage wore down his game and he has been a shell of himself the past two seasons.

He’s hoping for a rejuvenation in New York. Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, before being inducted to the NBA Hall of Fame despite his long and firmly established preference for baseball, actually went so far as to say the Bulls “let” Noah go in free agency because he “wasn’t going to be a frontline guy anymore.” From the New York Daily News a few weeks ago:
“What we felt was it was time,” Reinsdorf told the paper. “We felt Joakim wasn’t going to be a frontline guy anymore. I was pretty confident that Pau (Gasol) was going to leave. So it was important for us to get the center in (Robin) Lopez.Joakim Noah’s father talks at U.S. Open about son joining Knicks”It was time for Derrick to go on and play someplace else and try to establish himself. (Gar Forman) and (John Paxson) were high on the Grant kid (Jerian). We thought that was the necessary first step no matter how we were going to go.”

Noah had the chance to return fire on Wednesday, and while the veteran center felt the comment was a “low blow” from Reisendorf, he declined to take a shot back at the Bulls owner. From the New York Post this time:
“He’s entitled to his opinion,” Noah said. “I feel I have no regrets about my time in Chicago. I gave it everything I had. To me that’s all that matters. I did everything I could for that organization. I thought it was a little bit of a low blow, but at the end of the day I have nothing but respect for that organization. I’m just excited for this new chapter of my career.”

Noah played 572 regular-season games and 60 playoff games for Chicago. He’s ninth all-time in games played for Chicago, fourth in rebounds, and third in blocks. He helped revitalize the franchise and who knows what his legacy would have been had Derrick Rose stayed healthy. As it stands, Noah joins a number of players who swapped uniforms this summer like Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant and Dwight Howard, whose relationships with their former teams might have become frayed forever.

At least Noah isn’t investing in a war of words with the team. No good can come of that. The best revenge, after all, is playing well.

Joakim Noah

Courtesy: CBS Sport


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