News broke last night that former Bulls Center Joakim Noah was going to be cut by the LA Clippers. Noah’s agent told ESPN this means Jo will likely be headed to retirement. Joakim Noah was a staple in the Bulls franchise from when he got drafted in 2007 to when he left in 2016. He became the heart and soul of the Bulls and was loved by the city of Chicago. Joakim had a successful 13-year career in the NBA and now that it’s come to a close there’s one thing left to do. Noah needs to retire as a Bull.
Joakim Noah needs to retire as a Chicago Bull.
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) December 2, 2020
While I’m sure this will be in the works at some point I think it’s fitting to take a look back at some of Jo’s best moments with the Chicago Bulls. Some are basketball plays and some are crazy things that Noah said. Joakim captured everyone’s attention from the moment he got to Chicago. Once he had their attention he never looked back. He put all of his heart into his game. Jo gave everything he had to the city of Chicago and the city had nothing but love for him. Let’s jump in and look at Joakim Noah’s top 5 moments as a Bull.
5. Joakim’s antics against the Miami Heat
The first moment on the list is actually a collection of moments. The Bulls and Heat met each other in the playoffs in 2011 & 2013 and it was always a battle. Joakim always seemed to have some fun in these games while trying to get in the heads of Heat players. The most memorable moment was in the Eastern Conference semifinals game 3. While Heat forward Chris Bosh was yelling and guard Mario Chalmers, Noah decided to join in and have some fun.
Joakim was always trying to get in the heads of his competitors and he made sure to take advantage of that moment. However, this was just a continuation of Noah’s dislike for the Miami Heat. After the Bulls lost to them in the playoffs in 2011 he had some things to say about this team.
Noah said the team was “Hollywood as hell” and he wasn’t incorrect about that. The hype and showmanship that went into putting this Heat team together were very Hollywood like. Joakim didn’t like the Miami heat and he made it known. Noah’s antics when playing against the Heat are the reason this landed in his top 5 moments.
4. Game 7 Chicago Bulls vs Brooklyn Nets – 2013 Opening Round
Number 4 on this list is the reason why we got to see Joakim clap in the face of Chris Bosh. Noah’s performance in game 7 was incredible. He ended the game with 24 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 blocks. He played out of his mind and led the Bulls to the semifinals. If his performance is foggy in your mind take a look at his highlights from that game.
The Bulls had no business winning this series. They were down their starting backcourt with Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich out. On top of that, they didn’t have forward Luol Deng. The Bulls weren’t expected to make it past the first round. When it mattered most Joakim put the team on his back and brought them to a victory. Time after time during this game Noah silenced the crowd as they started to get back into it. Although it led to the Bulls losing to the Heat again this was a huge game for Joakim after guaranteeing a win.
3. “Cleveland Really Sucks”
It was hard for me to not rank this #1. Joakim said what everyone was already thinking ahead of the 2010 playoff series with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He wasn’t afraid to be honest about the city of Cleveland. In my opinion, this is some of the best press conference material you will hear from an NBA player.
This was an iconic interview. Joakim doubled down on his dislike for Cleveland. This was early on in Noah’s time with the Bulls and made the city of Chicago love him even more. Noah didn’t shy away from being honest and always spoke his mind. Even if it did get him into trouble.
2. Joakim Noah Wins Defensive Player of the Year (2014)
It’s almost unfair to put an entire season as a top 5 moment but Noah’s 2013-2014 season was amazing. In a season where Derrick Rose got injured 10 games into the season the city of Chicago was ready to tank. Joakim wasn’t having any of that nonsense. He helped bring the team to 48 wins that year and anchored a strong defensive unit. The team finished 1st in opponent points per game and 2nd in opponent field goal percentage. Noah basically took on a point-center position that year. Just take a look at Noah’s top 10 plays during this season.
He was the main reason that the Bulls found success in a season where they should have failed. Noah finished the season averaging 12.6 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 5.4 APG, & 1.5 BPG. He took over as the natural leader of this team and finished 4th in the MVP race that year. He played out of his mind for the city of Chicago and brought them to the playoffs. It was a defining season for Joakim and cemented his legacy with the Bulls.
1. The Dunk
The #1 moment for Joakim in a Bulls jersey came in 2009. In Noah’s second year with the Bulls, he made a huge play in the playoffs. The Bulls were facing off against the Boston Celtics in game 6 of the opening round of the playoffs. The Bulls were fighting hard on the brink of elimination. They found themselves in triple overtime with 40 seconds left and the game tied. Joakim Noah took care of the rest with an emphatic steal and dunk.
People forget how good JOAKIM NOAH was
2014 MVP voting: 4th
3 x All-Defense
2 x All-Star
Some of his best GMS
30 PTS, 23 REB, 6 AST
23 PTS, 21 REB, 11 BLK
23 PTS, 10 REB, 5 STL
13 PTS, 12 REB, 14 AST
11 PTS, 20 REB, 6 BLK
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) December 2, 2020
This was an electrifying moment and brought Bulls fans everywhere to their feet. This was big for second-year big man Joakim Noah and showed Chicago just how special he was going to be. This moment had everything in it. Defensive skill, offensive skill, and that Joakim Noah attitude. In other words, this was the perfect Joakim Noah moment. This pops into many fan’s heads when they think of Joakim.
After taking a trip down memory lane there’s only one thing left to do. Sign Joakim to a one day contract and let him retire as a Bull. If new head coach Billy Donovan wants to add Noah to the coaching staff I’m sure no one in Chicago would be opposed.
Joakim means a lot to the city of Chicago and we wish him all the best in his retirement. Thanks for the memories, Jo!