A day after Grantland published an interview in which Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said Joakim Noah approached him about a possible move to the bench, Noah says he never asked to be taken out of the starting lineup.
“Jo actually came to me and talked to me about that,” Hoiberg said about his lineup decision, via Grantland. “… It was actually Jo that started the whole conversation. He came to me. That says a lot about him.”
But when asked about the subject again on Friday, Hoiberg gave a vague response, saying he didn’t remember the exact details of the conversation.
“He came to me; we had a discussion about it,” Hoiberg said, via ESPN. “And he talked about how he really liked playing with Taj and that’s kind of how it went. … We had a very easy conversation, and I give him a lot of credit for coming and initiating that conversation. … The conversation was he came and said ‘I really feel I play well with Taj, and I think Niko and Pau play very well together.’ That’s basically how the conversation went. That’s the story and I’m sticking to it.”
It’s too early to tell whether the move to the bench has paid off, but Noah has struggled early on. Through 35 minutes of play in Chicago’s first two games, Noah hasn’t scored a single point.
He’ll get another chance tonight as the Bulls take on the Pistons at 6:30 p.m. in Detroit.