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Bulls’ Joakim Noah holsters ‘guns’ out of respect for shooting victims

Bulls center Joakim Noah has retired his ‘‘guns glory’’ celebratiafter deaths Newtown Conn. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

Bulls center Joakim Noah has retired his ‘‘guns of glory’’ celebration after the deaths in Newtown, Conn. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: January 20, 2013 6:28AM



The guns are in the holster and the holster is put away. Likely forever.

Joakim Noah’s post-shot “guns of glory’’ celebration had been on full display this season, with the Bulls center shooting off finger guns and blowing them off, before emphatically jamming them into imaginary holsters after hitting outside jumpers since the start of camp.

But in the wake of the shootings that left 26 people dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last week, Noah made the decision to find a new way to express his improved shooting ability from outside the paint.

“I started doing it in practice [a few years ago], did the guns and kept doing it,’’ Noah explained after the Tuesday 100-89 win over Boston. “It was a funny, comical thing, but we’re in a situation right now where it’s not funny. You can’t joke around with things like that. Too many people are dying because of guns. We have a problem here with guns, so I’m trying to be a little compassionate. It’s not a joking matter. We have a serious problem with it in Chicago. It’s crazy. I mean this summer, the movie theater, it’s happening all the time. This is unheard of. Every story is horrific. The gun thing in this country is no joke.’’

It was display Monday in Memphis, and again against the Celtics on Tuesday, when Noah hit a 21-footer early in the second quarter, and simply clinched his fists, as he back-peddled down the court.

Not that it wasn’t coming.

After the shootings, Noah took to his Twitter account to express his feelings on the horror the country witnessed.

Here was his initial tweet: “This is so f*cked up... There needs to be some kind of gun control.. For real”

He also tweeted this: “Bowling for columbine all day,” as well as retweeting Michael Moore tweets, including: “On this day in 1791 the Founding Fathers created the 2nd Amendment. It took a good 15seconds to load 1 bullet(musket ball) then “

Surprisingly, head coach Tom Thibodeau had expressed no problems with Noah’s “guns of glory’’ or Nate Robinson’s “flaps-down’’ post-shot celebration this season.

“At times he doesn’t like that,’’ Bulls forward Taj Gibson said of Thibodeau earlier this season. “He knows it works with this group, he understands it, so he puts up with it.’’

Breaking bad

Thibodeau likes the idea of his players looking to up-tempo the game with fast-break opportunities, but now needs to see better execution of it. That’s been the problem as of late, especially in the loss to Memphis on Monday.

“Right now, the intentions are good, we’re playing unselfish, but there are too many home-run passes instead of simple passes – first man in front of you, make that pass, make him make the play,’’ Thibodeau said. “When we do that we’re pretty good.’’

‘White Mamba’ sighting

Former Bulls big man, and cult hero, Brian Scalabrine was back in town, doing television for Comcast Sports in New England. Thibodeau was asked if Chicago was prepared for the “White Mamba’s’’ return.

“No, no one is ready for that,’’ he responded.



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