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Joakim Noah stops “finger guns” celebrations after shootings

Dec 19, 2012, 8:46 AM EDT

Miami Heat v Chicago Bulls - Game One Getty Images

It was meant to be all in fun. But it didn’t feel that way anymore to Joakim Noah.

When Noah would hit a big shot or make a big play, his trademarked celebration was to make guns out of his fingers, pretend to fire them off then holster them at his side.

But in the wake of the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, and ongoing gun violence in Chicago, Noah has holstered the guns for good. He is no longer doing that celebration (and didn’t when he had a triple-double against the Celtics Tuesday night), he told Aggrey Sam of

“It wasn’t just what happened in Connecticut. You just have to be kind of compassionate about what’s going on, man. We have issues with guns. Gun violence in this country is out of control and you’ve just got to be sensitive to that. I love this country. This country did so much for me.

“But I think it’s important to be more critical and we have issues. I feel just as American as I do French and the issues are complicated, but you’ve got to be sensitive and a lot of kids are dying. In Chicago, a lot of kids are dying in the streets, so that’s why I’m not doing that anymore.”

There are no simple answers to reducing gun violence in our society, to keeping weapons out of the hands of the mentally unstable as well as criminals while respecting the rights of those following the law. It’s something that requires a sober discussion not screaming talking heads looking for attention.

For that reason, I credit Noah. It’s just a basketball celebration, it doesn’t change what is happening on the streets of Chicago. But it’s a sign from someone that we need to be more serious about these issues.

  1. pudgalvin - Dec 19, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    It’s nice when an athlete is proactive about something. Most of the time we get non apologies and half assed explanations for why an athlete did something stupid.

  2. money2long - Dec 19, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    noah knows how to make fingers from guns? amazing

    • zhangmaster - Dec 19, 2012 at 6:02 PM

      Almost as amazing as Kurt Helin making sport out of words.

  3. jcmeyer10 - Dec 19, 2012 at 9:09 AM


  4. humanvue - Dec 19, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    “his trademarked celebration was to make fingers out of his guns”

    No wonder he trademarked that. That sounds much more difficult than making guns out out of his fingers like most people.

  5. amoose3 - Dec 19, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    Oh no he won’t be celebrating 12 foot jumpers in the first quarter of games anymore? What a shame that’s what made him so likable..

    • michaeljordanseviltwin - Jan 11, 2013 at 8:47 PM

      I literally just saw him do the finger gun celebration on a 1st quarter jumper against the Bulls. What a lying piece of crap he is.

    • michaeljordanseviltwin - Jan 11, 2013 at 8:47 PM

      Knicks I mean. Knicks.

  6. pistoleguite - Dec 19, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    Reblogged this on NBA BY @PISTOLEGUITE and commented:
    Joakim Noah played a great game to stop Celtics.
    The stat of the game :
    Celtics with 16 assists were devoured by Chicago who finished with 28 assits to pace the offensive issue.

  7. whitdog23 - Dec 19, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    absolutely correct. the editor and author should be laughed at all day

  8. dgbk - Dec 19, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    after readin the comments all i can do is laugh… noah is doin a good thing imo… but lol do he bend these guns into index fingers or wat?

  9. michaeljordanseviltwin - Dec 19, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Now….. now we’re moving in the right direction. I expect everybody will trade their guns for flowers or more fingers now.

  10. glink123 - Dec 19, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    hilarious. best article all year.

  11. livingsacrifice86 - Dec 19, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    Joakim Noah is Edward Scissorhands distant cousin

  12. passerby23 - Dec 19, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    I think not being a shooter at all and looking ridiculous doing that celebration are also good reasons to stop doing it.

  13. raidmagic - Dec 19, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Classy move Noah, thank you.

    • michaeljordanseviltwin - Jan 11, 2013 at 8:49 PM

      Hate to break it to you, raidmagic, but Noah is still doing his finger guns celebration. Not so classy after all.

  14. gostlcards5 - Dec 19, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    I don’t care for Noah, not really sure why. Some of the things that he says/does rub me the wrong way.

    That being said, I like/agree with his sentiment about this. It may seem silly or insignificant (stopping his celebration), but all people (political affiliation be damned) need to be aware of and we as a country need to address the level of gun violence in this country. Kudos to Noah.

  15. mrbiz8505 - Dec 19, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Most people hate him, but If Noah was on your team……you would love him.

    • southbeachtalent - Dec 19, 2012 at 3:33 PM


    • 00maltliquor - Dec 20, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      He’s not on my team, but I love the guy. One of my favorite players. I really don’t understand why people don’t like him. Personally, I think he’s funny as hell off the court. I get him.

  16. fanofevilempire - Dec 19, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    too much money in guns and bullets and stuff.
    the gov’t makes gazillions on guns/weapons that kill too.

    guns, drugs and sex will always be around to profit……..

  17. riccismiles - Dec 19, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    NOTE this phrase: “Gun violence in this country is out of control”. Do not let ANYONE say this to you and get away with it. GUN VIOLENCE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA has remained relatively UNCHANGED during the ENTIRE HISTORY of our country. PLEASE stop allowing this “out of control” rumor to continue because being part of any “big lie” is bad for sanity. (do not hedge with me on gun violence by providing statistics that show a 1000+/- difference. ANYTHING over 100 a year is savage.)

  18. gmsingh - Dec 20, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    You wait, Kurt, Joachim will perfect his “finger knives” celebration any day now.

  19. connaniii - Dec 22, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Beyond being a fine athlete and an excellent basketball player Noah has shown his true sensibility as a concerned human being and valuable citizen.

  20. michaeljordanseviltwin - Jan 11, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    You lying sack of sh**!!! I just saw Noah do the finger guns.

    There was no need to stop the celebration in the first place but don’t be a piece of crap who gets the media attention for saying one thing then do another.

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