Saturday, June 9, 2007
Joakim Noah grew up a Knicks fan in New York, which is why these words rolled off his tongue fairly easily on Friday."Damn," Noah said, "I hated Michael Jordan."
Thanks to the Eddy Curry trade, the Bulls own the ninth overall pick in the June 28 draft courtesy of the Knicks, a fact not wasted on the wit of Noah.
"As a kid, the Bulls made me cry a few times," he said following his draft workout at the Berto Center. "But you have to give credit where credit is due. I would love to come and play here. It's a team that has a lot of tradition in a city that expects winning, and winning is what's important to me."
Noah and his Florida Gators teammates proved that with back-to-back NCAA titles coached by Billy Donovan. Noah has text-messaged Donovan since his messy saga with the Orlando Magic ended and vowed to visit him in Gainesville, Fla., soon. "I was really surprised," Noah said of Donovan's decision to take the Magic job briefly."But it doesn't affect my relationship with him. I love him regardless. He has done a lot for me. I don't know if I'd be in this situation if it weren't for him."I'm proud of him. You know what? He followed his heart. To me, that's really important."