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Joakim Noah admits expectations of big contract got to him

Feb 1, 2012, 2:25 PM EDT

Chicago Bulls v Washington Wizards Getty Images

Joakim Noah is making a lot of money this year — $12 million.

It’s the first year of the extension to his rookie deal he signed last year, meaning he has gone from making what you and I think is a lot of money to making what other NBA players think is a lot of money.

Noah struggled out of the gate this season for the Bulls, his shooting was off and he just seemed hesitant and a step slow on defense and to loose balls. For a guy whose game was all about passion and working harder than you, it was noticeable.

Noah admitted to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune that the slow start and the contract were linked.

“Yeah, no question, I thought about that,” Noah said. “Sometimes you feel like because you’re given so much money you’re expected to do things. That’s not the right mentality to have as a player.

“I have to play my game. I have to have fun out there. If I don’t, I’m not the same player.”

Noah is talking about it now because he put this slow start behind him — he’s had double-doubles the last five games and has his trademark energy back. Something the Bulls need if they are going to be serious contenders this year.

  1. 420hippy - Feb 1, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    damn noah now u gave ppl a excuse to talk ish…

  2. pudgalvin - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    I think not being healthy for a decent part of the offseason and probably not being in game shape for the first month of a crazy schedule probably had as much to do with it as anything.

  3. tomshoe - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Let’s hope he can turn it around. He’s still a very good Center, just in a slump right now.

  4. zeedoubleyou - Feb 1, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Basically Noah is saying that a contract extension he signed a year and a half ago is the reason he is struggling this season?

    Even Ndamukong Suh thinks that is a weak excuse…

    Noah is and always has been a hustle player. It’s not like he’s suddenly lost his jump shot.

    • LilTmac2003 - Feb 1, 2012 at 7:01 PM

      Incorrect.

      Noah signed his contract last season but it did not go into effect until this season. Your ‘year-and-a-half-ago’ is in reality 1 month.

      MOVING ON…

      Noah has been struggling but as off recent, he’s been getting back to his normal self. Double-doubles, energy, and his classic yelling.

      • zeedoubleyou - Feb 2, 2012 at 9:09 PM

        The contract was guaranteed money the second that Noah signed it. Correct.

  5. edwardemanuelson - Feb 1, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Then don’t sign a contract that large if you’re not going to back it up. No excuses.

  6. glink123 - Feb 2, 2012 at 3:26 AM

    “Sometimes you feel like because you’re given so much money, you’re expected to do things”. um, yeah, for $12 million per season, you’re expected to actually score more than 2 points like you did tonight. He’s waaay too inconsistent for someone who’s been in the league this long.

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