Joakim Noah Fighting Adversity as He Navigates Uncertain Role, Future with Bulls

December 3rd, 2015 by Sean Highkin Leave a reply »

CHICAGO — When Derrick Rose was an MVP, the Chicago Bulls were his team. Over the past two seasons, as Jimmy Butler has developed into a two-way All-Star, they’ve become the 2-guard's team.

But spiritually, the Bulls have always been Joakim Noah’s team.

Noah is the one whose infectious energy has set the tone at both ends of the floor for almost a decade. His game, a combination of tenacious paint play and sharp passing instincts for a big man, has bridged the gap between the old school and the new school. Noah, not Rose, was the one tasked with recruiting Carmelo Anthony (unsuccessfully) and Pau Gasol (successfully) as free agents in 2014.

He’s always been the one to stoke the fires of the team’s biggest rivalries, most notably calling the Miami Heat “Hollywood as hell” in 2011.

Noah’s play has been a microcosm of the Bulls’ fortunes as a team the past few years. His 2013-14 campaign, which culminated in a first-team All-NBA selection and Defensive Player of the Year honors, was the driving force behind a run that went further than it had any right to go wi ...

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