Bulls celebrate Joakim Noah's career - name him Bulls Ambassador
Noah to be joined by former teammates, family, and fans to mark next chapter in his commitment to Chicago
Remind Me Later •
Today the Chicago Bulls named Joakim Noah a new Bulls Ambassador, and tonight the team will bring together many of his former teammates, friends and family members to celebrate his incredible playing career. The heart of the Bulls for all nine of his 13 NBA seasons spent in Chicago, Noah will be honored with a series of tributes throughout tonight's game against the New York Knicks on Joakim Noah Night, presented by NBC Sports Chicago.
Noah was selected by Chicago with the ninth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. While with the Bulls, he was a two-time NBA All-Star (2013, 2014) and a three-time All-Defensive team selection (First Team in 2013 and 2014; Second Team in 2011). The Bulls big man was also named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year en route to claiming All-NBA First Team honors in 2014. During his time with Chicago, Noah appeared in 572 regular-season contests (465 starts) and averaged 9.3 points, 9.4 rebounds (3.3 offensive), 3.0 assists, 1.41 blocks and 0.84 steals in 29.5 minutes per game. He helped guide Chicago to the postseason seven times, where he appeared in 60 playoff games with the team and averaged 9.7 points, 11.0 rebounds (4.0 offensive), 2.8 assists, 1.77 blocks and 0.97 steals in 35.0 minutes per game. In Bulls annals, Noah ranks first in offensive rebounds (1,910), third in blocked shots (803), fourth in total rebounds (5,387) and defensive rebounds (3,477), and ninth in games played (572), minutes played (16,848) and steals (481). He also holds the franchise record for blocks in a game with 11 against Philadelphia on Feb. 28, 2013. Known for his many efforts in the community, he received the prestigious J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award from the NBA in 2015.
"I'm truly humbled to be honored by both the team and city that I have always loved and respected," said Noah. "Even more so to be able to celebrate tonight with family, friends, former players and coaches, and most of all – the Bulls fans who helped drive my energy throughout my years in a Bulls uniform at the United Center. It means so much to me that I'm now a Bull for life. I love you all and am thrilled tonight to solidify my continued connection with the Bulls and the city of Chicago, in this new chapter of my life."
"When Joakim played for the Bulls, you could see how much he cared about the kids and everything that's going on in the city," said Michael Reinsdorf, Bulls President and COO. "He still comes into town, and he still cares so much. People in Chicago realize that he was more than just a basketball player, he was someone who cared about the community, someone who was going to do his best to make a difference in this world and he has. Joakim embodies every quality you'd want in a team ambassador. This is a natural next step for a former player with such strong history of giving back to Chicago."
As an ambassador, Noah will work with the organization to build relationships with people throughout Chicago and across Bulls Nation. As part of the team's commitment to Noah and his work in the community, the Bulls will make an annual donation to his charity, the Noah's Arc Foundation.
As part of the celebration, the team produced an original video highlighting Noah's time in Chicago through interviews with him and some of the people who have known him best, including (in order of appearance) Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson, Tom Thibodeau, John Paxson, Cecilia Rodhe, Michael Reinsdorf, K.C. Johnson, Kirk Hinrich, Billy Donovan, Bill Wennington, Chuck Swirsky and Sam Smith. The video was released on Bulls social channels and the team website, and can be found here.