Joakim Noah has a funny way to say “hello’’ to fans.
This one cost him $25,000.
Prior to the Game 3 showdown with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, the NBA announced that the Bulls big man was fined for a shoving incident involving a fan during halftime of the Cavs win in Cleveland.
Not the only issue Noah had in Cleveland during that Game 2 loss, either.
According to a Bulls spokesman, Noah was spit on by a fan after the game, told Cleveland security about it, and was informed there was nothing they could do about it.
Noah also allegedly was caught mouthing to Ohio State quarterback – and Cleveland native – Cardale Jones that “You ain’t in the SEC.’’
When all this was brought to Noah’s attention, he was in full denial mode.
First, he said “I don’t know who [Jones] was.’’ As far as a video showing Noah putting his hands on a fan, the one-time Defensive Player of the Year insisted “I was just saying hello.’’
LeBron James teams must bring the worst out in Noah during the playoffs, because Wednesday wasn’t his first rodeo when it comes to fan incidents. Back in the 2011 playoffs against James and his then-Miami Heat team, Noah was caught on camera firing off an anti-gay slur at a Miami fans, and was eventually fined $50,000 by the NBA.
“The fan said something that was disrespectful towards me,” Noah said back then. “Anybody who knows me knows that I’m not like that. I’m an open-minded guy. I said the wrong thing and I’m going to pay the consequences – deal with the consequences – like a man.’’
Considering Noah’s criticism of Cleveland in the past, Tuesday’s Game 5 back in Cleveland could be very interesting.
Tom Thibodeau hasn’t hid from the obvious discrepancy that Derrick Rose has been under in these playoff games when it comes to the point guard working on one day of rest compared to two days.
But the coach made it very clear that there would be no plans to change Rose’s routine or look to try and give him extra down time.
“Gotta get out there and play,’’ Thibodeau said of Rose. “He has missed a lot of time. He’s working his way back. He had surgery again this year. It’s not only three years of rust but he played a good chunk the first half of the season and then missed a good chunk the second half. Each day, he’s feeling better and better. It’ll come around.
“What you have to be able to count on are things you can control … go out there and do your job.’’
Through the first eight playoff games, on one day of rest Rose was averaging just 14 points a game, shooting 29.9 percent from the field, 27.3 percent from the beyond the arc and had a 1.4 assist to turnover ratio. On two days of rest he was averaging 24.3 points, shooting 48.1 percent from the field, shooting 48.3 percent from beyond the arc and had a 2.5 assist to turnover ratio.