When the New York Knicks visit the United Center on Thursday, October 28, the Chicago Bulls will celebrate Joakim Noah night. In honor of this occasion, we will be looking at Noah’s top five moments as a member of the Bulls. But first, a quick refresher.
The Bulls selected Noah with the ninth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. He quickly became a fan favorite due to his high motor and intense style of play. In Noah’s nine seasons in Chicago, he was a two-time NBA All-Star, three-time All-Defensive Team selection, one-time Defensive Player of the Year, and one-time All-NBA selection.
Noah provided fans with many memorable moments while he was in a Chicago Bulls uniform. It’s extremely difficult to only choose five of them, but we are going to give it a shot. These are in no particular order. Let’s get to it.
The Steal and Dunk vs. Boston
In what many consider one of the best, if not the best playoff series of all time, Noah made a huge play. With under a minute left in the third overtime, Noah jumped the passing lane. He stole the ball from Paul Pierce and went coast-to-coast for an and-1 dunk. The United Center was roaring and Noah was soaking it all in.
What’s So Good About Cleveland?
Now, I know this moment came after a loss, but who could forget this postgame press conference? Noah had talked about how Cleveland is a boring city in the leadup to the 2010 playoff series against the Cavaliers. When asked about it after a loss, Noah responded with the most direct question of all time.
“Do you like it? Do you think Cleveland is cool?”
“I mean I never heard anybody say I’m going to Cleveland on vacation. What’s so good about Cleveland?”
Joakim’s First Triple Double
Noah became one of the best passing big men in the game during his tenure with the Bulls. He averaged 3.0 APG a game during his time in Chicago, including a career-best 5.4 APG in the 2013-14 NBA season. A triple-double is no easy feat. Noah was the first Bulls center to do it since Artis Gilmore in 1977.
Do Or Die Against the Nets
This was the best game Noah had ever played. I will not be told otherwise.
The Bulls were without Derrick Rose again and needed a leader to step up. That leader was Joakim Noah. In one of the most impressive Game 7 performances I have ever seen, Noah answered the call and willed the Bulls past the Nets. 24 points, 14 rebounds, two assists, and six blocks. It was an absolute masterpiece that belongs at the forefront of the “clutch” gallery.
2014 Defensive Player of the Year
The Chicago Bulls and Joakim Noah didn’t win a title together, but there are still accolades to be shared. As previously mentioned, Noah is a two-time NBA All-Star. In 2014, he became the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year. Noah was fearless in the paint, attempting to block anything that came his way. If a switch happened, Noah took the challenge head-on against the smaller guard. With every rebound, every loose ball, and every scrap for the ball, Noah was there.
Joakim vs. LeBron
It’s no secret that LeBron James and Noah didn’t get along. I couldn’t add just one instance, so the video below highlights a series of them. The last one is my favorite.
Never Meet Your Heroes
Noah was a massive Kevin Garnett fan growing up. He even had a poster of KG in his bedroom. When Noah came into the league, Garnett wasn’t so nice, leading to this hilarious radio interview.
If you think I missed any, let me know over at @BuzzOnTap on Twitter.
Also, don’t miss the Joakim Noah appreciation podcast following the team’s celebration on Thursday, October 28 over at Bulls On Tap on Twitter!
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