Joakim Noah was back to practice with the Bulls for Tuesday morning’s shoot-around, and according to head coach Tom Thibodeau, will now start tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies in their first preseason game at the United Center.
Noah had missed three days of practices for what the team called personal reasons, but on Monday, the Bulls big man used his Twitter account to explain that his grandmother had passed away and that’s why he put basketball on the backburner.
“Thank you to everybody who sent their respect to my grandmother. Really appreciate the love. I started playing basketball because of her,” Noah wrote in the tweet.
Thibodeau had veteran center Nazr Mohammed ready to start against the Grizzlies, but those plans have now changed with Noah’s return.
That means the starting five will look like this: Noah, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Rip Hamilton and Kirk Hinrich.