The New York Knicks are off to an uninspiring 6-7 start to the season, and it’s causing at least one of their players to do some soul-searching.
In a recent interview with Ian Begley of ESPN, two-time All-Star big man Joakim Noah admitted that he’s been disappointed with his play so far.
“There’s still things I feel like I need to do a lot better,” Noah said. “I’m not happy with where I am right now. I feel like I can definitely play better, but I’m not going to get frustrated with the process. I’m giving everything I’ve got and looking forward to being better with this team, but not being frustrated with the process.
“I’m trying to figure it out. There’s no question. It’s been really up and down,” he continued. “I think that’s kind of like my role on this team. Some nights it’s going to be my night, sometimes it’s not, but at the end of the day I just have to be consistent with my effort and be consistent and try to bring something positive to this team.”
The 31-year-old Noah is averaging just 4.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game on 45.1 percent from the field and a horrific 31.6 percent from the line. While he’s managed to help the Knicks in other ways since signing with them this past summer, that kind of on-court production simply won’t cut it for a guy they gave $72 million to, and Noah knows it.
New York Knicks big man Joakim Noah is willing to give the Cavaliers props for winning the NBA title, but his thoughts on Cleveland still haven’t changed one bit.
The Knicks open the 2016-17 NBA season in Cleveland on Tuesday, a game in which the Cavs will receive their championship rings in a pregame ceremony. Before the contest, Noah took an opportunity to congratulate the Cavs and to throw some more shade at the city of Cleveland in the process, per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
Famous Cleveland denigrator Joakim Noah on being there for ring night: "Congratulations to Cleveland, even though it's not a vacation spot."
— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) October 25, 2016
Of course, Noah and the Rock and Roll Capital of the World have a lengthy history with one another. Back in 2010, the University of Florida product famously quipped that he’d never heard of anybody going to Cleveland on vacation. Noah’s jabs at Cleveland continued over the years, as did his blood feud with LeBron James.
In an age of such turmoil and uncertainty, it’s quite comforting to know that we can rely on one constant to serve as our guiding light through it all: Joakim Noah will always hate Cleveland.
- Filed Under:
Derrick Rose was cleared by a jury in his rape trial on Wednesday. While there is no way of knowing what actually happened between the plaintiff, Rose and his two friends on the night of the alleged incident, the defendants were found not liable. That is different from being found not guilty.
Someone should tell that to Joakim Noah.
Noah, who played with Rose in Chicago before they both made their way to the New York Knicks, had some very strong words on Wednesday for the woman who accused Rose and his friends of gang raping her.
“It’s a blessing to have him come back — it’s great the truth came out,” Noah said, via Marc Berman of the New York Post. “We didn’t have a point guard for all of preseason. All because of a girl who was trying to make money off my friends. … [It] is just wack.”
Noah added that Rose is “a tough kid but it was definitely a distraction, not just him but the whole team because some girl went out of her way to make money off of him.”
You can understand why Noah feels the need to defend his friend and teammate, but he should have a better understanding of what Wednesday’s ruling means before sharing such a strong opinion publicly. Rose was not facing criminal charges. The jury was not tasked with determining whether it is beyond a reasonable doubt that Rose committed a crime. Rose was facing several civil claims that included sexual battery, and the jury found that it is less probable than not that he and his two friends are liable for those claims.
Without getting too deep into legal jargon, the bottom line is even the jurors — those same ones who posed for these controversial photos with Rose — said there simply wasn’t enough evidence and made it clear they were not accusing the plaintiff of lying. Noah, on the other hand, called her a gold-digger. Right or wrong, he’s better off keeping those thoughts to himself.
New York Knicks center Joakim Noah chose not to attend a team dinner with US Army cadets and a retired colonel on Thursday night because he is against the idea of war.
Noah told reporters on Friday that he received permission from head coach Jeff Hornacek to skip the event.
“It’s hard for me a little bit – I have a lot of respect for the kids here fighting — but it’s hard for me to understand why we go to war and why kids have to kill kids all around the world,” Noah said, per Marc Berman of the New York Post. “I have mixed feelings about being here. I’m very proud of this country. I love America. I don’t understand kids killing kids around the world.”
This is the third consecutive year that the Knicks are holding training camp at West Point, where the United States Military Academy is based. Noah insists his decision to pass on the dinner was not a form of protest.
“It’s not my way of saying anything – I was not comfortable,” he said.
Hornacek said skipping the dinner is Noah’s “right,” noting that the team was fine with the decision especially given all that Noah does with raising awareness about gun violence. The former Florida star runs a charity called Noah’s Arc, and one of the goals is to fight gun violence.
“It’s changed my life the way I see things,” Noah said. “I spent a lot of time in Chicago in the neighborhoods trying to fight the gun violence. The truth is we’re losing big time. It’s just sad not enough is being done about it. This is the best country in the world, most powerful country in the world, and you go into some of these neighborhoods and feel you’re in a third-world country or war zone.”
Noah’s decision will almost certainly be likened to all the drama that is going on in the NFL, though it sounds like he was not trying to make that strong of a political statement. Still, we all do things on a daily basis that we are not comfortable with. Noah had to have known the reaction he would get.
The New York Knicks continue to aim high as their training camp opens up.
On Wednesday, it was Joakim Noah’s turn to be bullish, stating that the aim for the team this year was to dethrone LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“That’s definitely the goal,” Noah said, via Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. “It’s definitely not an easy task but that has to be the mindset. We all know what it is. Right now it goes through him. It goes through that guy. For us to get to where we want to get to we have to beat that guy.”
The Knicks are definitely feeling bold. Another new member of the team has gone as far as to call them a “super-team.” These proclamations are being met with a lot of skepticism, as is the notion that they’ll be able to get through the Cavaliers, but we’ll see how their confidence translates to games.
Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf explained that there was a very simple reason Joakim Noah is no longer with the team.
Reinsdorf, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame on Friday, told K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune that the team simply didn’t see Noah as a big-time player anymore.
“What we felt was it was time,” Reinsdorf said of the Bulls’ myriad of moves over the summer, including Noah’s departure and the Derrick Rose trade. “We felt Joakim wasn’t going to be a frontline guy anymore. I was pretty confident that Pau (Gasol) was going to leave. So it was important for us to get the center in (Robin) Lopez. It was time for Derrick to go on and play someplace else and try to establish himself. Gar and Pax were high on the Grant kid (Jerian). We thought that was the necessary first step no matter how we were going to go.”
What we do know, supposedly, is that Noah and the team’s front office did not quite see eye-to-eye at the end of his tenure there. It’s probably all the better that the Bulls weren’t interested in retaining their veteran big man, because there were certainly reports that Noah didn’t want to come back anyway.
Joakim Noah isn’t even an official member of the New York Knicks yet, but he may already be the team’s best recruiter.
Free agent guard Courtney Lee, who the team had been courting, agreed to a four-year, $50 million deal with the Knicks on Saturday, per Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. According to Ian Begley of ESPN, the deal would not have happened if not for Noah.
The Courtney Lee deal "would not have happened without Joakim Noah," a source close to Lee says. More: https://t.co/aGilwYZ8Kn
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) July 3, 2016
Lee, 30, reportedly had several offers on the table and chose New York in part due to the recruitment of the two-time All-Star Noah, who is said to have been “instrumental” in the process. Noah just agreed to sign with the Knicks a few days ago himself, yet he already appears to be fully invested in the franchise.
The signings of Noah and Lee, two defensively-oriented, team-first players, should add a dimension of grit and unselfishness to the fabric of the Knicks heading into the future.