Joakim Noah attends Bulls-Jazz game as Michael Reinsdorf's guest

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K.C. Johnson
·2 min read
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Joakim Noah visits United Center to catch Bulls' game originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The last time Joakim Noah visited the United Center for a game, a thunderous ovation greeted him.

With no fans allowed because of the ongoing pandemic, Monday night didn't rival the greeting Noah received when he attended the night that Luol Deng signed a one-day contract to formally retire as a Bull on Nov. 20, 2019.

But given that Noah sat in Bulls president Michael Reinsdorf's suite and the team aired a video tribute to him, look for Noah to follow Deng's lead and sign a one-day contract to get his own night whenever fans are allowed back in the building.

Noah recently ended his illustrious 13-year career that featured his heart-and-soul role as the Bulls' emotional leader from 2007-16. The two-time All-Star, who finished fourth in most valuable player voting as he earned Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2013-14, played with heart-on-his-sleeve passion that formed a lifelong bond with the Chicago faithful. His impact always transcended numbers.

Just ask current Bulls coach Billy Donovan, who won two NCAA national titles with Noah at Florida before the Bulls selected him ninth overall. When news of Noah's career ending became official earlier this month, Donovan called him "an unbelievable winner" and one of the most competitive people he has ever coached.

Noah sat alongside Reinsdorf in the halfcourt-line suite, conversing through masks. As the tribute video, set to Chance The Rapper's "Finish Line" and featuring memorable highlights from his Bulls days, played, he looked on from his seat, applauding at its conclusion.

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Noah's impact also transcended his on-court work. His Noah's Arc Foundation remained based in Chicago, run by his mother, the artist Cecilia Rodhe. Noah is in town in part for meetings regarding his foundation.

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