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Sneed: Peace priest laments probable loss of civic-minded Noah

If Joakim Noah leaves the Bulls, the Rev. Michael Pfleger will miss all the work the basketball star does with the city's youth. | Sun-Times library

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Is Noah’s Ark sailing?Sneed hears one big reason Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah has told his teammates he’s done with the Bulls is the attitude being dispensed by fellow teammate Jimmy Butler, the team’s brash guard/forward.

“Jimmy Butler may be talented, but he is being tagged as acting like this is his team; being arrogant and quite frankly, like having a very big head,” said a Sneed source familiar with the situation, which is threatening to send Noah into the ether of free agency.

“And, quite frankly, there are a whole bunch of guys on the team who are equally frustrated.”

OPINION

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Noah’s Ark . . .

“What a huge loss this would be to the city and our fight against violence,” said the Rev. Michael Pfleger, the peace priest who was stunned Wednesday that Noah had told his teammates he was done with the Bulls.

“I love this guy so much,” said Pfleger, pastor of the city’s largest South Side African-American Catholic congregation.

“I’ve never met anyone in the NBA that cared so much about community, especially at a a time when our city is going through this horrible rise of violence. We need guys like Joakim!”

“He comes by our Ark [youth center] on a Monday night and sits and talks with the guys; he sits in at our peace league games; he sits and talks with the brothers who feel no one cares about them; he just has this tremendous heart for the city. He stepped up to help stop the violence. He and Derrick Rose. Amazing men.”

News of Noah’s impending departure was first reported by Sun-Times Bulls sleuth Joe Cowley.

Scoopsville . . .

Sneed has learned the Chicago Police Department has decided to dispatch detectives to assist the Illinois State Police probing the shocking rash of shootings on Chicago’s expressways.

There have been 20 in Cook County this year, which include a shooting death on the Chicago Skyway and six shootings on Lake Shore Drive.

“It’s going to be a collaborative approach,” said a top police source. “If these incidents culminate in Chicago, then the same detectives investigating the shootings in the city are giving state troopers intelligence in real time,” the source added.

The rising number of roadway shootings around Chicago has caused our highways to be branded killing sites.

Hold on, pilgrim . . .

“Life is tough, but it’s tougher if you are stupid,” quoth film legend John Wayne . . . whose daughter, actor/author Aissa, has joined the list of Donald Trump for president supporters.

Trump jump . . .

The women’s room: Although Sneed’s top GOPers claim no big-bucks Illinois boys have yet to pitch beaucoup bucks into Trump’s presumptive presidential coffers . . . Sneed hears Liz Uihlein, wife of the Uline Company’s Dick Uihlein — one of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s biggest cash donors — has just signed on the Trump Victory PAC.

Hot topic . . .

Police alert!

Cook County State’s Attorney Dem primary winner Kim Foxx, Police Supt. Eddie T. Johnson and activist priest Pfleger headline the City Club of Chicago luncheon June 20 at Maggiano’s to discuss Chicago’s homicide crisis.

Sneedlings . . .

I spy: Comedians Adam Sandler, Nick Swardson and David Spade spotted dining at Quartino Ristorante on Monday night after their show at the Chicago Theatre. . . . Congrats to politico Eric Adelstein and wife Dr. Gail-Basch on their 20th wedding anniversary Wednesday. . . . Today’s birthdays: Lauryn Hill, 41; Stevie Nicks, 68, and Ben Zobrist, 35.

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