In case you haven’t heard former Bulls center Joakim Noah has decided to retire. After a brief stint with the Los Angeles Clippers last season and not being on an active roster to start this year it was only a matter of time.
Plan is for the longtime Chicago star to eventually retire as a Bull.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 1, 2021
Joakim Noah had a great career with the Chicago Bulls. In his time with the Bulls, he made quite the name for himself. He became insanely popular in the city of Chicago and Bulls fans everywhere supported him. From his high intensity on the floor to his brutally honest press conferences he was loved by the city of Chicago. It’s only a matter of time before he retires as a Bull. You would have to imagine that the Bulls and Noah would like to wait until fans can pack the arena again before they do that.
No surprise here. Look forward to the day when fans at a packed United Center can properly salute one of the most popular players in franchise history. https://t.co/uvMeu2fDl3
— Mark Schanowski (@MarkSchanowski) March 1, 2021
While we wait for that day we can begin a very important discussion when it comes to Noah. Whether the Bulls should retire his jersey or not. The current list of retired Bulls jerseys is quite small. It only includes four players Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Bob Love, and Jerry Sloan. This makes for a very exclusive club and the question is does Joakim Noah belong?
Making a case for Joakim Noah
Let’s start by looking at his stats as a Chicago Bull. In 572 games with Chicago, he averaged 9.3 PPG, 49 %FG, 9.4 RPG, 3.0 APG, & 1.4 BPG. His stats aren’t helped by his final year with the Chicago Bulls where he only averaged 4.3 PPG. However, if you look at Noah’s time with the Bulls you have to remember just how good he was in his prime. During the 2013-14 NBA season, Joakim was 4th in MVP voting and won the DPOY award.
Noah was a force to be reckoned with in both the 2012-13 and 2013-14 season. He wasn’t going to go out and score you 40 points or anything like that but he was going to be a clampdown defender and make his presence known on the court. In case you have forgotten what prime Noah was like go ahead and take a trip down memory lane.
All-NBA 1st team
4th in MVP voting 2013/14
3 x All-Defense
2 x All-Star
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) March 1, 2021
For anyone who makes decisions based solely on stats then this would be a hard sale. However, for the people who watched Joakim and know what he meant to the city of Chicago, it’s hard to find reasons why his jersey wouldn’t find itself hanging in the United Center. Joakim meant a lot to this organization and left it all on the floor for this team. That certainly didn’t go unnoticed in Chicago.
Noah’s got a lot of support behind him
Anyone who got to play with Noah understands just how much passion he had for the game. He left his mark on a lot of players throughout the league. Clearly, his impact was big enough on and off the court.
Former Bulls players react to Joakim Noah retiring.
Jimmy Butler: Thank you for showing me the way. Fucking legend.”
Luol Deng: “Retire that jersey Bulls.”
Carlos Boozer: “True legend.”
Rip Hamilton: “You laid it on the line every night. Awesome career.”
(Via Noah’s IG)
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) March 1, 2021
Former Bull Luol Deng believes it’s time for his jersey to be retired and it goes far beyond just players. When the news of Noah’s retirement came out there was plenty of chat about retiring his jersey.
Joakim Noah's number should be retired. If you didn't watch him, you can't speak on this.
— Artūras Karnišovas Fan Club (@arturasfanclub) March 1, 2021
This speaks volumes because when it comes to the career of Joakim Noah a lot of it had to be seen. A lot of his game didn’t show up in the stats. His tenacity and heart on the court can’t show up in the stats. The city of Chicago could feel his dedication and love for the game every time he hit the floor. Again it all can be seen in the tape. Noah was an intense guy who worked hard for the Chicago Bulls.
Joakim Noah deserves to have his jersey #13 retired by the Bulls.
Don’t believe me? Maybe you were only looking at stats and forgot to watch him play: pic.twitter.com/s8fmRsimNl
— Artūras Karnišovas Fan Club (@arturasfanclub) December 2, 2020
At the end of the day I know I have quite a bit of bias when it comes to this as I watched Joakim play through his prime. He was an incredible athlete and brought a lot of good to the city of Chicago. He played hard and he made for a lot of laughs off the court. His hatred towards the city of Cleveland will be something to never forget.
Joakim Noah's hatred of Cleveland will forever be hilarious pic.twitter.com/g2TgVRQpbd
— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) March 1, 2021
This discussion about whether Joakim’s jersey should be retired or not is a tough one. He meant a lot to the city of Chicago but the argument will still be made about his stats. I’m not sure what the organization’s criteria are for retiring a jersey but I think Joakim Noah’s jersey should be hanging up there with the greats. He may not have been able to bring a championship to Chicago but he sure did everything in his power to try and get them there. If he doesn’t find his jersey retired I wouldn’t put up a fight but I do believe the city of Chicago would love to see this happen for Jo.