After defeating the defending NBA champion Miami Heat in a four game sweep the Chicago Bulls ended the 2006-07 season losing in a hard fought series with the Detroit Pistons. That summer fans were a buzz with predictions of who the Bulls would draft in that summers draft. The team did its customary pre-draft workouts at the Berto Center and media clamored around the participants after each workout to get their nighly sound clip for the evening news. The players would give their agent approved responses to predicable questions as usual. Until they interviewed this lengthy kid from the two time national champion University of Florida Gators. Being asked a question about how the Chicago Bulls were a fit to his game.
Noah responded: "It’s ironic because growing up in New York, there were really times that I hated the Bulls. But right now, I feel like this would be such a great situation for me and I’m really excited. You can’t control where you get picked, but I enjoy it here and it’s a place where I could definitely get better.”
Usual interview ethic says you don't speak of hating your new potential employer, but as soon as he uttered the words "I hated Chicago." I knew it was a match made in heaven. And during that summers' NBA Draft my gut was right when the Chicago Bulls made Joakim Noah the 9th selection of the 2007 NBA Draft. I can remember those times back in the 1990's that Joakim spoke of when the Bulls and Knicks were hated rivals. All those famous games. The "Oh what a move by Jordan" slam dunk, The John Starks baseline jam and my favorite the Scottie Pippen dunk on Patrick Ewing. So many memories of those classic playoff battles. Who would have thought while we were sitting hear in Chicago, that Joakim Noah was cheering for his team The New York Knicks back in Queens. Who knew that years later this skinny kid from New York City would define what it means to be a Chicago Bull. His blue collar approach to his game and the hustle and hard work he puts in is the perfect example of the Chicago "Can Do" spirit.
The oddities just add flavor and color to his character. He is definitely one of Chicago's very own treasures even if he was born in Gotham. After getting benched by coach Thibodeau in the Bulls losing effort against Memphis a few nights back. I except him to have a great game tonight as the Bulls play host to the Los Angeles Lakers on a nationally televised game. To add to that his snub by writer's in the All-Star voting as a starter, should make for a great night at The Madhouse on Madison. As Western Conference All-Star starting center Dwight Howard comes to town. I got my Bob Marley CD playing and I am ready for a entertaining night. Oiyoi yoiyoiyoi yoiyoiyoiyayayayoi