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Noah relieved he wasn’t suspended for outburst in Sacramento
by Sam Smith
Posted on Feb 4
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Well, it could have been worse.
That was Joakim Noah’s view of relief after being fined $15,000 for his outburst against the officials and ejection in Monday’s loss to the Sacramento Kings.
Though he probably could have made better use of the money. Maybe even a new stocking cap.
The NBA announced before Tuesday’s game against the Phoenix Suns Noah was fined $15,000 for “verbally abusing the officials upon his ejection.”
“I think it was fair,” Noah said before the game, lying on his back in the Bulls locker room with his feet braced in the air in a healing protective sleeve. “It was a bad mistake on my part. I have to keep my cool under all circumstances. It’s unfortunate I have to pay for it. And I have to move on and just get ready for the game. I was ready for whatever consequences were going to be thrown my way. I’m just happy I’m able to play tonight and be there with my teammates.”
It was unlikely there would have been a suspension since Noah did not make contact with any officials. But as this was the first penal action under new commissioner Adam Silver there was no way of knowing whether the league would make an example of Noah. Bulls security director Eric Buck gets an assist for ushering Noah to the locker room before he could do anything further.
“Just the way the game was going,” Noah said about the untypical outburst for him. “I think I was just frustrated with that. I just have to do a better job of keeping my composure. I could’ve easily been suspended for a game and that would’ve been really hard for me; just not to be able to be there for my teammates. So I can’t let things like that happen.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was ready to move forward, which always is his view.
“To me it was a frustrating game,” said Thibodeau. “It’s an emotional game. Obviously you don’t want to lose control of your emotions. It happened. I never thought it warranted suspension. It was probably appropriate. So he got fined for cursing.”
“It’s not a big deal. To me you’re making a mountain out of a molehill,” Thibodeau said to reporters when asked about the league penalty. “It was a nothing, really.”
Thibodeau was then asked about the ongoing feud between Mike Dunleavy and DeMarcus Cousins in which Cousins after the game again demeaned Dunleavy. Given this was not about basketball, Thibodeau wanted to move on.
“C’mon, really?” Thibodeau asked. “I don’t pay any attention to that stuff. OK, we played poorly last night; get ready for Phoenix. That’s all I’m thinking about. I could care less what DeMarcus Cousins says.”
The Bulls have shot below 40 percent in the last three losses and 28 percent against the Kings. Thibodeau said he’s more concerned about that.
“We’re playing low energy,” said Thibodeau. “San Antonio, I thought we had good movement, high energy, we screened well, we got the ball up the floor quickly, and we made shots. That goes a long way. Right now we’re not shooting the ball well. We’re not making layups, we’re not making free throws, we’re not making threes. And when that happens, we’ve got to try and find other ways to get it done. Our defense is also low energy. We have to ask ourselves, ‘OK, we’re on the road, you have to bring a tough mentality to the game, you’ve got to prepare yourself well.’ We’re shorthanded and we can never underestimate how hard we have to play to give ourselves a chance. And we have to do so for 48 minutes. When we do those things we have a chance. It’s doing all the little things, not taking any shortcuts, not giving in physically, mentally, emotionally. We have to play with a lot more toughness.”
The Suns are one of the league’s hottest teams after having swept a four-games-in-five-nights Eastern trip including in Indiana and have won seven of eight.