Former Bulls center Joakim Noah recently appeared on Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast to talk his NBA career with the Bulls and Knicks and what's next for the 2013-14 Defensive Player of the Year. The two-time NBA All-Star and national champion had a few things to say about his time with the Bulls, including that he believes the Bulls could've won the 2012 NBA title if Derrick Rose had been healthy.
Joakim Noah said on the Pardon My Take podcast that he believes that the Chicago Bulls would've won the championship during the 2011-2012 season if Derrick Rose never got hurt.— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) February 17, 2020
Noah: "In my mind still to this day, there was no question nobody was fucking with us."
Bulls fans remember it all too well. In Game 1 against the 76ers Derrick Rose goes down, injuring his left knee and leaving the Bulls without their point guard. Noah says that if D-Rose didn't get hurt, the Bulls "would be holding that trophy up. In my mind, still to this day, there's no question."
The hosts discussed the Tom Thibodeau era Bulls and how many believed he pushed players too hard during the regular season, leaving the team drained and injured in the playoffs. While Noah says he personally didn't feel that way about Thibodeau, he does concede things would've been different if it hadn't been for the injuries.
"[Thibodeau] is the best, he is a warrior. We were so close, but the injuries kind of derailed it. I look back at those years and we were right there. I've got nothing but love for all those guys…we were almost at the promised land and it didn't go down. It's easier to look back now with the injuries and talk about what didn't go well, but the truth is we were right there, we almost got the chip if it wasn't for the injuries."
The 34-year-old Noah played for the Bulls from 2007 to 2016, playing 572 games. He then signed a four-year deal with the Knicks for $72 million, a deal many consider a bad move after Noah needed multiple surgeries and served a 20-game league suspension for violating the NBA's anti-drug policy. The Knicks released Noah in 2018 and he played the remainder of the season with the Grizzlies, where he averaged 7.1 points and 5.7 rebounds.
After recovering from injury over the summer, he is currently unsigned by an NBA but has been open about wanting to keep playing. When asked on the pod if he was retired, Noah plainly responded, "No I am not." Here's hoping Noah will be able to find a team that is the right fit.