Former Bulls star Joakim Noah details being suspended by his own teammates

Former Chicago Bulls star big man Joakim Noah appeared on “The Old Man and The Three” podcast with former NBA guard JJ Redick and Tommy Alter to recount how he was suspended by his teammates during his rookie season with the Bulls.

Noah’s rookie year was the 2007-2008 season and Chicago had players such as center Ben Wallace, guard Ben Gordon, and forward Joe Smith. Noah, as he says, was part of the rotation and at times, was in the starting lineup. However, it seems that the rough edge Noah played with seemed to turn off his teammates when that edge caused him to get into an almost-physical confrontation with assistant coach Ron Adams:

“So you know, we come out with a really bad start just to the year and I don’t think I’ve ever, we lost like eight games in a row in the first 10 games. I’ve never lost 8 games before in my life. All we’ve been doing is winning. And so I’m like pissed off about the whole thing. And I got into it with Ron Adams, assistant coach, who was always my coach. Worked with him all summer. Love the guy, you know, but we got into it that day and it got out of hand. I think if I remember. I think he told me to go (expletive)  myself. Told me to go (eplxetive) myself. And I was like, what? And I went crazy. I went crazy. I wanted to fight him. And they were like ‘Get your (expletive). Go back to Chicago’. We’re in Philly, like get your (eplxetive) and get the (expletive) out of shoot around. You’re going home.”

Noah continues by explaining that he apologized to head coach Scott Skiles for the incident and how Skiles accepted his apology. However, in the pregame huddle for their game against the Orlando Magic, Noah says that he was told by Wallace that the players felt that Noah shouldn’t get to play for more than just one game for the altercation with Adams. Noah said that he was surprised by that as he detailed:

“The next game we’re playing in, we have practice, and I have a good practice, I’m getting ready. Ben Wallace goes ‘you know, as players, we feel like one game, one game wasn’t enough. So you’re not playing. You’re not playing tonight again’. And I’m like, I’m looking at my teammates. Like, I could tell like some of these guys didn’t even know. I’m like ‘yo you guys what’? And I remember Joe Smith going ‘Did he stutter’? I’m like holy (expletive).”

Noah ends the story by explaining how the Bulls lost to the Magic by 50 points and that everybody in the media was either criticizing Noah or trying to get in contact with him because of him not playing. According to Noah, some of the players were in good spirits despite an embarrassing effort and he says that he stood up to Wallace. Noah thought it was unfair that he wasn’t playing while other players were joking around after a lopsided defeat:

“And so we play on and we get smoked by 50 and I remember guys were like clowning around in the locker room like laughing and I just like stood up to body (Ben Wallace) and I was like ‘yo body, this is bs. This is bs. I was like I’m the one getting suspended and you guys are over here (expletive) around and laughing and (expletive). We just got smoked by 50 and it was bad.”

Noah says that even though this happened during his rookie season, he says that him standing up for himself won his teammates’ respect from that point on.

List

Bulls at Raptors: Prediction, point spread, odds, best bet

List

Bulls player grades: Season-best night for DeMar DeRozan in loss vs. Celtics

List

Bulls at Raptors: Lineups, injury reports and broadcast info for Sunday

Story originally appeared on Lonzo Wire