It's All In The Game: Noah's Arc

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 doesn’t 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 team’s defensive efforts following a loss to

the Clippers. Noah’s comments didn’t 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 didn’t 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 hasn’t

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 they’ve 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 doesn’t 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