For some reason, Joakim Noah always rubbed me the wrong way.
At the University
of Florida, I thought he
seemed arrogant on the court and in interviews.
I like a swagger in a player, but with him it seemed like it
more of an unnecessary arrogance. So, it doesnt really surprise me that his
attitude and maturity has come under fire recently.
After leading the Gators to two NCAA championships, Noah is
now a rookie for the Chicago Bulls. In his three months as a pro, Joakim already
has managed to alienate himself from his coaches, teammates, media and perhaps
even his fans.
Following his first NBA game where he scored two points in
19 minutes, Noah questioned his teams defensive efforts following a loss to
the Clippers. Noahs comments didnt sit well with his then-coach Scott Skiles,
who suggested the young rookie should shut his mouth. He has also been late to
practices several times and he constantly complains in the media about missing
Last week, Noah was suspended two games for a verbal
altercation he had with a Bulls assistant coach. Reportedly, the second game of
the suspension was a result of a team vote. The suspension apparently taught
him nothing as he quipped, I didnt know players could suspend players.
And after the Bulls were losing at halftime to a game
against Orlando later that week, Noah reportedly called out veteran Ben Wallace
and other teammates for laughing during the game, and not taking the game
seriously. To no surprise, the ballsy, yet stupid gesture caused a verbal
altercation between Wallace and Noah in the locker room, and according to a
couple of Chicago newspapers, the two had to be separated.
Oh, and did I mention he is just a rookie?
Both Wallace and teammate Chris Duhon have called out Noah
in the media, suggesting that he stops acting like he is the captain and
realize he is just a rookie. And I agree 100 percent. Sure Joakim has
accomplished a lot in college, but he needs to realize that he hasnt
accomplished anything at the NBA level.
How are you going to criticize any teammate or coach when
you just got there? I mean, how would he feel if last year at Florida, an unproven freshman put you and
Corey Brewer on blast about playing harder? Noah would not only laugh in his
face, but I guarantee, he would probably be offended.
I believe, no matter what theyve done before, rookies have
to pay their dues and earn respect before they are in a position to open their
mouths. Joakim is a talented player who has the tools to be an effective pro
he is brings energy, he is competitive, can rebound and play defense. He has to
learn how to control his emotions, be humble and start acting like a
If he doesnt get his act together, he will soon find out that
the NBA can do without him – even if he was a two-time National Champion in