Former Bulls Great Released, and ‘Likely Headed for Retirement’

Getty Robin Lopez and Joakim Noah

Former Defensive Player of the Year and long-time Chicago Bulls favorite Joakim Noah was released by the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday. Noah’s agent says his client is “likely headed toward retirement.”

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Noah Likely Walking Away

According to Noah’s agent, Bill Duffy, the 35-year-old NBA veteran is likely going to call it a career after spending 13 seasons in the league.

Noah appeared in five regular-season games for the Los Angeles Clippers this past season averaging 2.8 points and 3.2 rebounds per contest. Noah did appear in two postseason games with the Clippers, playing a total of one minute, but he didn’t score or record a rebound.

Noah’s Career With the Bulls

Noah spent the first nine years of his career with the Bulls. During that time, which was clearly the prime of his time in the NBA, Noah won Defensive Player of the Year, was voted to three All-Defensive Teams and made two All-Star squads.

As a Bull, Noah averaged 9.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. More than any statistics Noah registered in a Bulls uniform, his presence, energy, leadership, and emotion were as valuable as any rebound or dunk. He was the engine and the heart and soul for the best Bulls team of his era from 2007-08 to 2015-16.

Noah and another former Bull Derrick Rose formed a bond that is still strong today. This short video was captured in 2019 for one of Rose’s returns to the United Center.

In an excerpt from Derrick Rose’s book, “I’ll Show You,” the former NBA MVP and Chicago’s favorite son wrote this about Noah:

The closest teammate I’ve had—other than Randall in high school—was Joakim Noah, and that’s where Arthur Ashe comes in again. A lot of people don’t mess with Joakim because they think there’s some bad shit that comes with him or just how outspoken he is or whatever. For me, I can respect that, knowing everything about him, like for him to be who he is and act the way he is. It’s an amazing story behind it. I actually want my son PJ to grow up to be like Joakim. You know, a free spirit, a loving guy. Joakim loves people. He’s just a great role model. And his story is special.

Where Does Noah Rank All-Time Among Chicago Bulls Centers?

In the pantheon of Bulls centers, Noah has to be considered No. 2 overall behind only Artis Gilmore. Neither man won an NBA championship like Bill Cartwright and Luc Longley, but both were likely better all-around performers.

Gilmore bests Noah in just about every statistical category as one of the premier bigs of the 1970s and early 1980s, but Noah owned the 2010s as it pertains to Bulls big men. He had a fantastic career, even though he wasn’t able to capture the championship ring.

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