The former Bulls standout is named team ambassador leading up the game against the Knicks and “Joakim Noah Night.”
Joakim Noah always did things his own way.
That’s how one goes from NBA antagonist to Bulls ambassador throughout a career.
Nicknamed “Stick” and then “Stick Stickity” while growing up in New York, Noah started in the shadow of his famous tennis star father, Yannick, but emerged as a star in his own right for a Bulls franchise that gambled on him coming out of Florida.
They weren’t gambling on Noah Thursday night. They were honoring him.
Not only was Noah’s nine-year career with the Bulls celebrated at the United Center on “Joakim Noah Night,” but the team announced in the afternoon that Noah was named a Bulls ambassador.
“When Joakim played for the Bulls, you could see how much he cared about the kids and everything that’s going on in the city,” Bulls president and COO Michael Reinsdorf said in a statement. “He still comes into town, and he still cares so much. People in Chicago realize that he was more than just a basketball player, he was someone who cared about the community, someone who was going to do his best to make a difference in this world and he has. Joakim embodies every quality you’d want in a team ambassador. This is a natural next step for a former player with such strong history of giving back to Chicago.”
In his Bulls career, Noah was a two-time All-Star (2013, 2014) and a three-time All-Defensive team selection (First Team in 2013 and 2014, and Second Team in 2011). The big man was also named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2014.
In 572 regular-season games, he averaged 9.3 points, 9.4 rebounds, three assists, 1.41 blocks and 0.84 steals in 29.5 minutes per game, guiding the Bulls to the playoffs seven times.