Noah wants to ruin Heat’s celebration Tuesday in Miami
BY JOE COWLEY Staff Reporter October 27, 2013 9:23PM
Joakim Noah dunks the ball in front of Chris Bosh in the first quarter. (Tom Cruze/Sun-Times)
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Updated: October 28, 2013 4:56PM
The idea sickened Bulls center Joakim Noah.
Sitting in Miami on Tuesday night, watching a championship banner raised, rings handed out, smiles on the faces of players he labeled “Hollywood as hell’’ several years ago.
“I don’t want to talk about that,’’ Noah said Sunday when asked about having to witness the Heat’s upcoming celebration.
After all, these teams don’t even bother shaking hands when they take the court. It’s a hate/hate relationship.
“When we play Miami, it’s just a dogfight,’’ reserve big man Taj Gibson said this month.
A fight Noah will not miss.
Despite playing only 19 minutes in the preseason and coach Tom Thibodeau insisting that he isn’t in game condition, Noah is in no mood to simply sit and watch as Miami celebrates. He wants to ruin the after-party.
“No,’’ Noah said when asked if he would miss out on playing the Heat. “If my groin was still bothering me, we’d have to talk about it because I didn’t want this to linger all season. It would have been really tough to sit out a game that I’ve been waiting for all summer, that I’ve been training for all summer. It would have been tough.’’
The Bulls have a good regular-season record (7-4) against the Heat the last three seasons, but Miami has sent the Bulls packing in two of the last three postseasons.
In last year’s playoff showdown, reserve center Nazr Mohammed was ejected for shoving LeBron James to the floor, and Noah and Gibson were ejected for racking up technicals. In the five-game series, the Bulls were hit with 12 technical fouls.
“We know it goes through Miami,’’ Noah said. “Those are the guys we want to beat.’’
Thibodeau was downplaying the buzz for the opener.
“They’re the defending champion,’’ Thibodeau said. “Everyone is chasing them. It’s the next game. It’s the start of the season. But you can’t get caught up in the hype of the game. You have to understand what goes into winning, prepare yourself well and get ready to compete.’’