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Joakim Noah credits NBA career revival to legendary surfer and volleyball star

Joakim Noah dunks against the Atlanta Hawks. | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It wasn’t long ago that former Bulls star Joakim Noah’s NBA career seemed to be coming to an unfortunate ending. The Knicks cut him in October after an attempt to trade the remaining two years and $38 million found no takers. The team had decided it was better to swallow the money and move on than keep paying Noah to play.

Less than six months later, a rejuvenated Noah is back in an NBA rotation with the Grizzlies. He recorded 19 points and 14 rebounds in a win over the Pelicans in mid-February. Less than two weeks later, he put up 22 and 11 in a loss to the Clippers.

He’s scoring 7.1 points per game, his best average since the 2014-15 season.

And according to USA Today, Noah credits all of this to a famous sports couple – legendary pro surfer Laird Hamilton and volleyball star Gabrielle Reece – who helped rebuild his body and reignite his passion after the toughest stretch of his career.

Noah, long known for his partying and expressive attitude, found a unique bond with Hamilton and Reese not only as athletes but as people. And with their guidance, he’s been able to turn back the clock and extend his playing days when they seemed to be running out.

There are videos of Noah doing some of the workouts on Instagram.

From Noah’s caption: “Thank you for helping me find my way Laird. I couldn’t ask for a better big brother. I needed help and you and your family were there for me. For that I am forever grateful. You need me I’m there.”

The USA Today story is full of sweet anecdotes about how Hamilton and Reece helped rebuild Noah both mentally and physically to save his basketball career. It’s good to see one of the most important Bulls players of the last two decades still having fun and playing ball.