Let me start off by saying that I love Joakim Noah‘s style of play. I love his defensive intensity, the offense skill that he is demonstrating this season and his overall passion for the game. But here’s the problem, he’s a member of the Chicago Bulls, a team that prides itself not on flashy alley-oops like the Miami Heat or Oklahoma City Thunder but on defense prowess and hustle. Bull’s players don’t take plays off, they don’t relax on the defensive end and whenever possible they push the ball to out-hustle their opponents.
These are the reasons why Noah is not the type of player to be selected for a NBA All-Star Game. Yes he is showing a vast improvement in offensive production and yes he is playing at such a high level and playing such a high volume of minutes that he should be a shoo-in for an All-Star selection. But his passion for the game is not based on flashiness or fancy passes or anything that the All-Star game represents.
Last season, Luol Deng made the All-Star Game and even though he only played about five minutes it was clear that he took the game as any other game in his career. He was focused on performing well and winning. He wasn’t concerned with showboating or dazzling fans with fancy plays and moves. This is exactly what would happen if Noah were to be selected.
Yes, Noah is one of the top centers in the Eastern Conference but it is because he isn’t a flashy player. Noah doesn’t demand attention like Dwight Howard, and he doesn’t demand more money and playing time like Amare Stoudemire. Joakim Noah is a collected and fundamental player much like a young Tim Duncan. Even though Duncan has been selected to 13 All-Star Games in his career so far, it doesn’t change the fact that players that are focused on their team and doing things the right way without any of the fluff that so many players demonstrate these days (I’m talking to you LeBron James) don’t really have a place on an All-Star game’s roster.