Since the Chicago Bulls selected Joakim Noah with the 9th pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, the team has seen a resoundingly strong presence at the center position, one that has put other teams in the league on notice. Despite this, Noah’s contributions to the team has rarely been given the recognition it deserves.
Noah has been with the Bulls through thick and thin; from changes at the front office and coaching positions, to the acquisition of hometown MVP Derrick Rose. But while it took some time for the Bulls to coalesce into one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, Noah has always been a positive for Chicago.
Noah has the strength and athleticism necessary to make it big in the NBA, but he also possesses a humble, pro-teamwork mentality. It is without a doubt that Noah will make the 2014 NBA All-Star team, where he will bring the national attention that Chicago deserves.
The value that Noah brings to Chicago is, of course, agreed upon among die-hard and casual fans of the Bulls. But I feel that Noah, considering his talent, is often ignored by the media and the fanbase in favor of hawking attention and glory on Rose. While Rose is, injury or not, one of the top 10 best players in the league, Noah is the undisputed leader of the team and is deserving of more than a by-line on sports articles.
Even as the team has spiraled into injuries and poor signing decisions in the past two years, Noah has always kept his game up. He will prove to be a strong player as the years pass by; all that’s necessary is a capable supporting cast.
When Rose returns for the 2014-15 season, hopefully the two can reunite and bring Chicago the championship we’ve been waiting for.