Joakim Noah Sounds Off on ‘Animosity’ Filled Miami Heat Rivalry

Joakim Noah and Chris Bosh

Getty Joakim Noah #13 of the Chicago Bulls drives against Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs

On July 8, 2010, the NBA was forever changed when LeBron James, in an hour-long special on ESPN, announced his ‘Decision’ to leave his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers and take his talents to South Beach to sign with the Miami Heat. Then it was revealed that Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh was going with him to team up with Heat star Dwyane Wade and the Big Three era was born. Together the big three won two NBA titles together. 

Joakim Noah Tried Recruiting Big Three to Chicago

However, while South Beach was the destination for the Big Three, it could have been much different. Joakim Noah on a recent appearance on JJ Redicks’ The Old Man & The Three podcast, shared that he too, was recruiting LeBron James, Wade, and Chris Bosh to join him with the Chicago Bulls. He also noted that it was him recruiting, and Derrick Rose wasn’t part of the courting. 

“I’m thinking that they’re coming to Chicago,” Noah said of the 2010 free agency frenzy. “… Chis Bosh basically told me, ‘Yo, I’m coming to Chicago.’ If Chris Bosh came to Chicago…

“I tried to recruit all of them. It didn’t matter. Whatever it took to get the Bulls better, I was doing. Derrick (Rose) wasn’t doing none of that s–t. I was doing all of that. People don’t know that, but yes, I did try to recruit LeBron. Yes, I did try to recruit D-Wade,” Noah said. 

Noah’s pitch almost paid off with Bosh, who he says basically told him he was on his way to Chicago. Ultimately the two teams were rivals in the years that followed and had some historic battles, and Noah cited them not choosing Chicago as a potential source of the Bulls’ animosity. 

“I think that’s where a lot of the animosity came from,” he continued. “… Chris straight up told me he was f–king coming to Chicago. So, I think it fueled the fire that much more.”

Dwyane Wade on Almost Signing with Chicago

Dwyane Wade, who is from Chicago, spoke previously about how close he got to signing with the Bulls. He also shared that Chris Bosh or LeBron James were both planning on going with him. Then they found a way to have all three of them together, and that happened with the Heat. 

“Chris Bosh effect,” Wade said, explaining why he and LeBron James didn’t sign with the Bulls in 2010. “Had the opportunity for us three to play together and we both separately really wanted to play with Chris Bosh. So it was going to be kind of a sense where Chicago wanted two players, they could have got two players. It probably was going to be LeBron and Chris or me and Chris, right? It kind of was moreso that effect, that they could only do two. And Miami was able to get all three of us. And we really wanted to play together at that moment once we found out it could be a thing. So instead of it being me, LeBron and Derrick Rose, it’s going to be a tough one. So we decided to pick what we thought was better from a basketball standpoint.”

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