After 13 seasons in the NBA, former Chicago Bulls big man Joakim Noah is retiring from the NBA. And he plans to retire as a Bull. The news was first reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Noah spent the bulk of his 13-year career with the Chicago Bulls. The franchise selected him with the ninth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.
Initially, Joakim Noah was considered to be an energy player. However, he soon proved to be a valuable addition to a Bulls roster seeking to return to relevancy.
After averaging less than seven points per contest during his first two years in the league, Noah became a double-digit scorer in each of the next five seasons (2010-2014).
During that impressive stretch, Noah racked up several accolades along the way. The list includes one All-NBA First Team selection (2013-14) and two All-Defensive First Team selections (2012-13 and 2013-14).
Under former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, Noah blossomed into one of the more talented big men in the league. This enabled him to earn a pair of All-Star selections in 2013 and 2014.
While Noah had several memorable seasons in Chicago, his best campaign took place in 2013-14. During that season, he compiled averages of 12.6 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 5..4 assists per contest. All of these numbers were career highs for the former Bulls star.
In addition to that, Noah won the Defensive Player of the year award and he also finished fourth in the Most Valuable Player voting as well.
After nearly a decade in a Bulls uniform, Noah went on to play for the New York Knicks, Memphis Grizzlies, and the LA Clippers. But after appearing in just five games for the Clippers last season, it was evident that his best days were behind him.
During his career, Noah amassed averages of 8.8 points, nine rebounds and 2.8 assists per contest on 49 percent shooting from the field. Sure, Noah’s last few years in the league were somewhat forgettable.
At the same time, Noah was a key cog of Chicago’s most successful run since the team’s dynasty era that took place back in the 1990s. Although the Bulls produced just one conference finals appearance during that stretch, he gave the home fans plenty to cheer about.
Furthermore, the Bulls were a top-five defensive teams three times during a five-year stretch (2011-2015). They don’t accomplish this feat without Joakim Noah holding his own at both ends of the floor.
Will the Bulls hang Noah’s jersey in the rafters? Probably not. But he certainly deserves credit for becoming the heart and soul of a franchise that was in need of an identity.