CHICAGO: Joakim Noah has told teammates in recent weeks that he is finished playing for the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), saying he has no faith in team executives.
The newspaper reported Noah plans to take advantage of free agency because, as one unidentified player told the Sun-Times, he “has no trust in the front office getting this in the right direction.”
This past season, the Bulls went 42-40, two games behind the Detroit Pistons for the last playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
The report said Noah did not cite his early season tension with first-year Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg as part of the reason he was looking to leave.
But the player did tell the newspaper that multiple players mistrust Bulls general manager Gar Forman, Noah prime among them, and said that former coach Tom Thibodeau was seen as a shield from the front office while Hoiberg was seen as a Forman man.
“We know there’s at least one assistant (coach) that tells Gar everything that goes on,” the player said. “There are a lot of guys that have a problem with that, and not just Jo.”
The report also said players feel there is no accountability for Forman because he has a close relationship with Bulls president Michael Reinsdorf.
Noah, the 31-year-old son of retired French tennis legend Yannick Noah who entered the NBA in 2007, is coming off a poor season with only 4.3 points and 8.8 rebounds a game before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery after only 29 games.