Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Joakim Noah Was The Soul For Bulls Of The 2010s


The Chicago Bulls are honoring former center Joakim Noah Thursday night when the team takes on the Knicks. The two-time All-Star spent nine of 13 seasons with the Bulls and was an impactful player for multiple playoff teams. The Bulls drafted Noah with the ninth overall pick in the 2007 draft.

The night itself will be filled with many familiar faces for the Bulls franchise including former teammate Derrick Rose and former coach Tom Thibodeau. Not only will the night be a celebration of a former Bull’s great but an era of Bulls basketball that had many great moments. In that stretch, the team never won less than 45 games and made the playoffs every year.

The night will also have an element of Noah’s college career with the presence of his former Florida coach Billy Donovan, now coaching Chicago. Noah won two national titles with Donovan in Gainesville. Everywhere he’s been Noah has won.

Noah’s Impact

Over the years, Noah built a reputation as a hard-nosed defender inside the Bull’s defense as well as the team’s enforcer. Noah was always a player ready to defend his teammates in scuffles and overall just be a pain in the other team’s neck.

Many Bulls fans remember the Derrick Rose-led teams from the early 2010s and rightfully so. What cannot be overstated is Noah’s impact in keeping the teams without Rose on the court afloat. His 2013-14 Defensive Player of the Year season is still something to marvel at.

With Rose out for the remainder of the season, Noah put the team on his back with averages of 11.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game. The team finished 48-34 on the season.

Since Noah’s departure from the Bulls back in 2016, the team has not experienced the same success up until this season. Noah himself bounced around from New York and Memphis until finally finishing his career with the Clippers in 2020. That was the COVID bubble season.

Noah’s career accolades included 2013-14 Defensive Player of the Year, two-time all-star, three-time All-NBA Defensive first team, and All-NBA first team back in 2014.

Life after Playing

As of today, the Chicago Bulls announced that Joakim Noah will be an ambassador for the organization moving forward. Noah was honored by the news and felt that it connected him to the team forever. Noah shared his appreciation in a press release:

“I’m truly humbled to be honored by both the team and city that I have always loved and respected.  Even more so to be able to celebrate tonight with family, friends, former players and coaches, and most of all – the Bulls fans who helped drive my energy throughout my years in a Bulls uniform at the United Center. It means so much to me that I’m now a Bull for life.”

Carlos Peterson
Chicago native with experience covering the greater Chicagoland area sports scene.

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