Questionable. Until Joakim Noah took the ball from Paul Pierce and went the length of the court in the third overtime of Game 6 in last year’s epic Bulls Celtic series, Noah had more question marks surrounding his name than ‘The Riddler.’ Despite a stellar collegiate career at Florida (before it was Tebow Land), there were questions on how the 9th overall selection in the 2007 NBA draft, the 7-ft lanky center with limited offensive game, would translate in the NBA. More importantly, he had what some people in NBA draft board rooms would call ‘character issues.’
Homeboy did have his share of issues too – clashing with head coach Scott Skiles during his rookie campaign – his child-like interviews with the media – his 2008 mishap with Gainesville police where they found open alcohol and weed in his car (what a surprise!?!…redefining the meaning of a high draft pick).
Regardless of that, this kid’s a different breed, no doubt. How many people do you know who have a professional tennis player for a dad and a mom who was named Miss Sweden in 1978? Probably not many, and if you do, then you need to bring your friends around more. We should chill.
But seriously, just look at the dude. His physical appearance resembles a 7-foot tall Bozo the Clown with longer hair and a bucktooth smile.. not to mention looking like a distant relative of Cheech or Chong. It’s no wonder fans would question what kind of player he would turn out to be.
But the past is the past, and the present is now…unless of course you just got high in which case time demensions can be confusing….I digress.
Point being: The kid who was a one-time questionable draft pick is currently morphing into NBA stud…a ‘chronic’ double-double machine…a ‘habitual’ and ‘potent’ offensive rebounder…an overall ‘dank’ center (ok, you get the point).
Does his jumpshot look like a special olympics shot-put event? Yes. Does he often look like he hit the UC hardwood immediately after attending a Cypress Hill concert? Absolutely. But looks can be deceiving and 12-games into the season, Noah finds himself leading the league in rebounding (12.4) and is currently averaging a double-double. Throw in a couple blocks a game while hitting on 56% of his shots…ladies and gentlemen we have a legit NBA center in the building.
But the most valuable aspect of his game is his ‘energy’ (I hate the term ‘energy player’ more than calling a quarterback a ‘game manager’ – but he is exactly that). Who ever said smoking weed makes you lazy? Noah runs the floor like he’s trying to escape the Gainesville police and avoid his second marijuana misdemeanor…hustling back on defense and closing lanes…hitting the offensive glass for put backs…beating his man down the floor for an easy bucket…he’s a crowd igniter…he’s charasmatic… he has an identity.