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Joakim Noah defends Derrick Rose, says critics should ‘shut up’

May 7, 2013, 12:27 PM EST

Chicago Bulls v Washington Wizards Getty Images

After the Bulls stunned the Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Monday, Joakim Noah fielded a question about how proud he was of his team, considering all they’ve been able to accomplish so far without the services of their All-Star and MVP point guard, Derrick Rose.

Noah wasn’t exactly pleased with the line of questioning, and used it as an opportunity to publicly defend his teammate for all of the grief he’s taken from both fans and media throughout this season — not entirely because Rose has yet to play a single game, but because he and the Bulls organization continue to say that he might, despite the lateness of the date on the calendar.

Fron Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago:

“If you tore your ACL and you have to be the starting point guard and have the expectations that Derrick has, then maybe you can judge, but everybody who hasn’t been in that situation before should really shut up because I feel like it’s just so unfair to him and to this team. We’re fighting, and everybody’s going to just s— on somebody who’s been giving so much to this organization. It’s crazy to me.”

There was more from Noah, who went on to praise Rose’s toughness in dealing with it all while trying to do his best to get ready for a return to the court, but you get the idea.

Again, the issue is not Rose’s readiness to play, or lack thereof, despite having been cleared publicly by the team’s medical staff, and despite the fact that Rose has been practicing with the team for two months. The frustration comes from the constant teasing from Tom Thibodeau, who said “we’ll see” in response to a question about whether Rose might play against the Heat, and from Rose himself, who says his return in these playoffs is “still up in the air.”

There would have been no harm or shame in the Bulls ruling Rose out for the playoffs before they began. It would have ended all the speculation, and by the way, he still could come back and play even after the team made such a declaration — look no further than David Lee‘s brief appearance in the Warriors’ closeout game against the Nuggets, after the team said he’d be out for the entire postseason with a torn hip flexor muscle.

Unfortunately, the scrutiny surrounding Rose isn’t likely to stop at any point in the postseason as long as the Bulls are still alive. What’s been made clear by Noah’s comments, though, is that all criticism is coming from outside the organization. As far as the team is concerned — and this has been the case all along — they are fine with Rose’s situation, and will continue to have his back throughout this process.

  1. yuwannano - May 7, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Fans probably wouldn’t give him as much crap if he just came out and just said that he was NOT going to play post season. Bulls fans don’t deserve a simple answer to this??

    • hwatt - May 7, 2013 at 12:50 PM

      no, fans and media need to have more common sense and find something else to do with their free time. Just because they leave the door open doesn’t mean ppl need to take their light words seriously. Common. Sense.

      • iknowmyshht - May 7, 2013 at 2:56 PM

        First thing first shut yo face!!! Most ppl watch NBA games during free time and talk sports during free time. I’m a die hard Bulls fan. I love the Bulls before and after MJ. I dont know the facts but whats being put out by the team, the media and D. Rose himself makes him appear to not be a team player. Guys sick on national tv, barely can walk and all kinds of illness fighting they hearts out to find a way to win. I hope we beat the Heat w/o Rose. His brother was critical of the team and who he had to play with. Well who talking now Reggie? I’m a Bulls Fan over all!!! I’m not happy with Rose. If its turn out to be he has no faith in his teammates. He don’t deserve to wear the Bulls uniform and should be traded period. MJ wouldn’t have done it and he’s done more for the Bulls than Rose ever will. #BlessDaBullsAndNoOtherTeam

      • eltrilliardo - May 7, 2013 at 5:13 PM

        A fan before Michael Jordan, yet writes like a 16 year old?

        I call nonsense.

      • chitownmatt - May 7, 2013 at 5:15 PM

        @iknowmyshht,
        NO YOU DON’T!!!
        You have no idea what you are talking about.
        Stop making a fool of yourself and stop hating on one of the hardest working guys in the NBA.
        If you are anything close to the dedicated Bulls fan you claim to be, you would stand by D Rose.
        The guy is 24 years old and needs to think about his future and the future of this team.
        Last thing we need is another Jay Williams situation where a carreer ending injury takes out our best player.
        Do yourself a favor and STFU

      • iknowmyshht - May 7, 2013 at 7:47 PM

        I would like to clarify my earlier comment…1. Did D. Rose get hurt at the same time as I. Shumphert? Yes. He has been back for how long now? 2. Has D. Rose been medically cleared to play? Yes. 3. Hasn’t D. Rose been participating in full contact team practices in the last two months? Yes. 4. Did his brother come out and say that the bulls didn’t have enough talent around Rose and couldn’t compete for a championship? Yes. 5. I am not hating on Rose..I think he is one of the most talented players to ever play the point guard position, but when you have players on the same team that are fighting the flu, throwing up on the sidelines during the game, and guys with foot and calf injuries still doing everything they can to help their team win and neither of which are the team’s franchise player but yet they get out and give their all while he sits on the sideline talking about he is not “comfortable” enough to play..thats a problem..I repeat..I am a bulls fan and IF and I repeat IF D. Rose decides to take his talents elsewhere at the end of his contract, I will remain a Bulls fan..I am loyal to the Bulls, not to D. Rose. The point I am trying to make is this..it is very simple..you are never 100%. I guarantee there is not three starters on any playoff team that is 100%. I love D. Rose character, I love his humbleness, but I question his mental toughness.. Good Day

    • eventhorizon04 - May 7, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      My take is that the issue here isn’t the lack of decisiveness from Rose. Sure, fans don’t like it when athletes get wishy-washy (People still make fun of Brett Favre for retiring then un-retiring 3-4 times).

      However, what’s killing Rose from a PR standpoint is the perception that Rose has been medically cleared to play and has been going full speed in practice but is unwilling to try to play a few minutes per game to help his team.

      In other words, people do think he’s at 100% – or at least 90% – so even if he rules himself out of the playoffs, they’d get upset unless he also passed on information like he actually hasn’t been medically cleared, or he suffered a setback in his rehab, etc. That’s mainly because a lot of his teammates are playing injured – at 80% – so fans don’t see why a mostly healthy Rose can sit on the bench while Kirk Hinrich gets worn into the ground playing 60 minutes while injured.

      So if Rose said, “I’ve decided to rule myself out of the playoffs because I’m experiencing problems with my hamstrings related to my rehab that prevent me from playing effectively,” I think fans would be okay with that. Nobody wants to see him get hurt again.

      However, if Rose said, “I’ve decided to rule myself out of the playoffs because I’m still not completely comfortable on the court yet, and I’m only at 90% instead of 110%,” I do think fans would get upset. Nobody in the playoffs is 100%.

      • chitownmatt - May 7, 2013 at 5:20 PM

        Well said, but from a tactical perspective Thibs would never let any other team know the truth about the injuries.
        Leaving the door open, makes other teams waste time preparing for Rose whether he is actually going to play or not.

    • fanofevilempire - May 7, 2013 at 4:57 PM

      oh boy, I can’t wait until tomorrow for the next Derrick Rose is not really
      sure when he will play article,
      This is exiting, I can’t wait.

    • iknowmyshht - May 7, 2013 at 7:42 PM

      I would like to clarify my earlier comment…1. Did D. Rose get hurt at the same time as I. Shumphert? Yes. 2. Has D. Rose been medically cleared to play? Yes. 3. Hasn’t D. Rose been participating in full contact team practices in the last two months? Yes. 4. Did his brother come out and say that the bulls didn’t have enough talent around Rose and couldn’t compete for a championship? Yes. 5. I am not hating on Rose..I think he is one of the most talented players to ever play the point guard position, but when you have players on the same team that are fighting the flu, throwing up on the sidelines during the game, and guys with foot and calf injuries still doing everything they can to help their team win and neither of which are the team’s franchise player but yet they get out and give their all while he sits on the sideline talking about he is not “comfortable” enough to play..thats a problem..I repeat..I am a bulls fan and IF and I repeat IF D. Rose decides to take his talents elsewhere at the end of his contract, I will remain a Bulls fan..I am loyal to the Bulls, not to D. Rose. The point I am trying to make is this..it is very simple..you are never 100%. I guarantee there is not three starters on any playoff team that is 100%. I love D. Rose character, I love his humbleness, but I question his mental toughness.. Good Day

  2. Kevin S. - May 7, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    The Bulls went to the Bill Belichek school of injury obfuscation. See: Luol Deng being out with the “flu” when he was really getting a spinal tap. If the uncertainty can force an opponent to waste even a minute gameplanning for Derrick Rose, the Bulls will leave that possibility out there, even if it makes Rose look bad to some media and fans.

    • hwatt - May 7, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      uh-oh, Deng’s twitter account is about to be muffled.

      • eventhorizon04 - May 7, 2013 at 1:21 PM

        Good point. If the lack of clarity about injuries was intentionally being used to confuse opponents, I’m not sure why Luol Deng is allowed to provide clarifications about his injury status on Twitter to his thousands of followers…..

        I really don’t think this Derrick Rose situation was part of a “master plan” to gain a tactical advantage. I think Rose truly is unsure if he wants to play, and the Bulls don’t want to close the door on him returning so long as there’s a chance.

  3. spthegr8 - May 7, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    I agree with Noah but @ the same time D Rose brought this on himself. It could have and SHOULD have been handled better, by him and the Bulls PR guys. I definitely understand the frustration from the bulls fans but C’MON. If he didn’t already come back, what in the WORLD would make you think that he is going to now????

    The WORST part about this whole story is that, it’s taking away from the MATERPIECE that Tibbs and these players are painting right now. GREAT team D, ball movement, unselfishness, hustle, etc, etc. watching them play makes me wanna lace’em up again!!

  4. lakerluver - May 7, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Instead of being concerned with how Tom T. or Rose answers the questions why don’t the critics and media just assume that he’s not going to play and stop asking the question?!! I’m glad Noah spoke up for him.

  5. freepretzels - May 7, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    I’m sorry, but its starting to look like Rose is soft. Part of being a professional athlete is playing when you’re not a 100%, because generally you’re not going to be a 100%. There are too many Bulls playing through injuries to explain why a guy who has been cleared and practicing for at least two months can’t suit up and do SOMETHING.

    • pdub923 - May 7, 2013 at 2:12 PM

      Have you ever blown out a knee? It’s not like a jammed finger or a runny nose.

      • freepretzels - May 7, 2013 at 2:41 PM

        I’ve had a few serious knee injuries, as a matter of fact. But this isn’t about me.

        Have you seen the footage of Derrick Rose practicing? Dunking? Running and stopping? He’s been cleared since February. He can’t play 10-15 minutes? Other guys are playing hurt on the Bulls.

      • chicitybulls - May 7, 2013 at 3:01 PM

        Get out there and play 10-15 min to do what? If he can’t contribute, what’s the point? To please dumbasses like you? To show ignorant people such as yourself that he’s not soft? Anybody that grew up where he’s from and has been reading the news knows you are not soft coming from where he came from. He’s too smart and is thinking LONG TERM about his career. He does not want to become Gilbert Arenas 2.0 and come back too soon. Just because doctors cleared him to play doesnt mean he’s ready to play. There’s more to it than a doctor’s clearance. Any athlete knows this. You are not one.

  6. bigbenh8tr - May 7, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Wow trash article Brett.

    “The frustration comes from the constant teasing from Tom Thibodeau,”

    Is he simply trying to answer the media’s REPEATED questions and move on to a new topic? This is just like stirring the pot with Tebow. They have to be available to the media and are just simply answering a question. He isn’t going out of his way to talk about Rose.

    If only one day there would be such a thing as professional journalism.

    • Kurt Helin - May 7, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      People define professional journalism as “saying what I want to hear.”

      • fanofevilempire - May 7, 2013 at 4:59 PM

        they do?

      • gmsingh - May 8, 2013 at 6:33 AM

        Agreed. Sadly, though, you describe it as “shillin’ for the Heat.”

  7. klownboy - May 7, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Well, Rose needs to take a page from the Joakim Noah book of toughness. What Noah has been able to do on one foot is remarkable.

    http://wp.me/p1gCK6-Eh

  8. iowahbr - May 7, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Rose just needs to listen to Noah’s advice and shut up. Fans are mad about the teasing of his return, not about him taking the whole year off. Any real NBA b-ball fan who has watched him play knows he ain’t soft. As for game prep fog you would play Rose just the same as Miami tried to play Nate last night. Look at tape of ECFs 2 years ago. The shame is that we will be very unlikely to see Rose and Nate playing together next year because their styles (not abilities) are so much alike.

  9. tampajoey - May 7, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    While Derrick Rose’s physical toughness is debatable his mental toughness is not. He’s as mentally weak as a 4 year old girl and that’s the only reason he’s not playing. A real team leader would be on the floor. Michael Jordon would be on the floor and that’s why he’s a legend. Adrian Peterson overcame the mental hurdles from the same injury to play a much more physical game. Those are real leaders and Rose is looking more like a Diva Pretender.

    • pdub923 - May 7, 2013 at 2:16 PM

      Wow. Must be a Brooklyn fan.

  10. fnc111 - May 7, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    tampa nailed it. And last I checked this is still America and we all are allowed to voice our opinions.

    Derek is mentally soft. Mark my words, he won’t even be playing by Christmas next season. It’s going to be a loooong time before we ever see him play again.

    I think most are missing the big picture. Rose has been ready physically for two months. He just doesn’t have the mental capacity to get himself over the hump. MJ and Kobe are real leaders and all time greats because they have the total package. I think Lebron and DRose are chumps.

    • Kevin S. - May 7, 2013 at 2:35 PM

      You’re absolutely allowed to voice your opinion. I’m allowed to voice my opinion that your opinion is full of crap, and that “This is America” bull is a lame crock designed to offset criticism of a weak-ass point.

      • jimeejohnson - May 7, 2013 at 4:50 PM

        Typical right wing NUT “this is America” stupidity. Republicans aren’t the party of stupid for nothing. Read Tampon Joey’s posts for unlimited examples.

      • tampajoey - May 7, 2013 at 6:18 PM

        @jimeejohnson says the idiot liberal that wants to give everyone a “participation trophy”. No wonder this country is full of pathetic pussies like you looking for a handout.

    • chicitybulls - May 7, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      You’re right. This is America and we can voice our opinions. Mine is, you’re a pussy.

  11. fnc111 - May 7, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    pdub, have Adrian Peterson, Iman Shumpert, and Ricky Rubio ever torn acl’s?

    DRose is just scared that’s all. Stating a fact.

    • pdub923 - May 7, 2013 at 2:32 PM

      He might be scared, but I don’t think he’s a “Diva Pretender” or a bad leader. Just scared.

    • louhudson23 - May 7, 2013 at 2:37 PM

      His absence is made a bit more glaring when you put it that way…..however,all injuries and situations are different….having said that,it seems hard to believe someone could just sit and watch at this point…..

  12. kb2408 - May 7, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    @fnc, you’re not stating a fact, you’re stating an opinion. An opinion based in ignorance and stupidity.

  13. fnc111 - May 7, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    kb,

    Nope, not an opinion at all. He’s the healthiest player on the team, tearing it up in practice, and cleared by doctors for two months. He is scared. Fact.

    Keep living the naive life kid.

    • chicitybulls - May 7, 2013 at 3:04 PM

      Yeah, you’ve been watching all the practices so you know he’s been “tearing it up” right? You’re a punk. That is a fact. An old, fat, balding, unathletic punk. Fact.

      • jimeejohnson - May 7, 2013 at 4:51 PM

        He could be from Chicago if he’s fat. Duhhhhhhhhh BEARS!

  14. philtration - May 7, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    What you have is a lot of pudgy media types that want to tear him down while feeding this crap to a bunch of equally pudgy and soft whiners that hate to see this guy being able to do things that they secretly dream of doing.
    He accomplished more before the age of 20 than you will your entire lives and you hate that.
    A lot of fake tough guy talk about a subject that you know little or nothing about.
    This is your chance to sit in a dirty chair and chug another cam of Pepsi and rip on a guy that you never met.
    You live through someone else’s accomplishments and then try to feel even better about yourself by them failing or getting injured.
    How creepy and pathetic.
    If you had to walk two blocks in the neighborhood where he grew up you would be wetting your Old Navy cargo pants and you calling him “soft” and “weak” is comical.
    He is not the one that has to spend his life running his big mouth behind the safety of a computer screen.

    • iowahbr - May 7, 2013 at 3:51 PM

      I think all this attack Rose stuff is all BS but I can tell you that most pro athletes have no idea how wrapped up in living vicariously through the sports lives of others some fans on the fringe get. Most pro athletes are living their own dreams and get paid well for doing so. Some of the posters here led much less exciting lives and dream how they think they would act in their heroes shoes and when that script does not play out they post nasty comments. I think Rose would be better served to stop the “I might come back” teasing but I can’t prove that and I’m sure Rose doesn’t even think of it as teasing.

      The athletes just don’t realize that some fans live in a dream world where their team’s success is about the only positive reinforcement they get and demand that same approach from athletes. Silly but true

      • jimeejohnson - May 7, 2013 at 4:52 PM

        All the attack Rose stuff is just haters doing what they do best: being LOSERS!

  15. gmsingh - May 7, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    Has anybody seriously considered the possibility that the Bulls might be a better team without Rose? Remember, all the pundits said the current Bulls didn’t stand a chance against the Heat, either. Thinking inside the box doesn’t look like the way to go to me.

    • philtration - May 7, 2013 at 9:30 PM

      Only the people that know nothing about basketball.

      • gmsingh - May 7, 2013 at 9:34 PM

        Thanks for confirming that your panties are all in a bunch.

  16. 13arod - May 7, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    nobody likes the bulls nobody liles noah or rose only michal jordan

  17. scalfor3 - May 7, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    The Rose criticism is insane. Even if he comes back, he won’t be NBA MVP Derrick Rose the second he steps on the court. There’s issues of trust in the knee, rustiness etc to work through. If you think practicing with the team is even 1/10th of the intensity of NBA playoff basketball, you need your head examined.

    It would be one thing if Rose was either nearing the end of his career or if the Bulls were very close to a championship. The facts are that Rose is 24 and has many years of dominant, top 5 player in the league ball left. Why would you risk Glibert Arenas-ing him to slightly bump your slim chances of a ring this year? (Rooting for Thibs and the Bulls now that my C’s are out, but the odds are STACKED against them). It makes so much more sense to hold Rose out, let him continue to strengthen the knee, and have him come back in the fall at 100%. All this “D Rose has no heart, MJ would be out there” stuff is BS, the Rose I’ve seen on the court has plenty of heart.

    • gmsingh - May 7, 2013 at 9:23 PM

      I agree–he had plenty of heart a year ago when he felt like playing. LOL.

      • philtration - May 7, 2013 at 9:31 PM

        Does LOL stand for Loser On Line?

      • gmsingh - May 8, 2013 at 6:28 AM

        No, but keep tryin’–you’ll figure it out eventually.

      • scalfor3 - May 10, 2013 at 10:46 AM

        If you think it’s worth risking a Gilbert Arenas or Grant Hill situation with your 24 year old MVP candidate, that’s your prerogative. I certainly don’t, even though I would love nothing more than the Bulls knocking off the Heat.

  18. ndrick731 - May 7, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Good thing for him that he doesn’t play on the nfl or god help him the NHL He would be laughed out of the league. What a soft wuss.

  19. halfbaht - May 7, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    I for one have actually torn my acl more than once and it’s not a nice injury. Had I done what Derrick is doing and taken care of my injury and not rushed back, I wouldn’t have torn it for a 2nd time. Even with rehab it can be an 18 month healing process to get back to 100%. Nothing wrong with D-Rose looking out for his future. I like what Chicago are doing by not being definite on whether or not he will play. It’s a great tactic, keeps everyone guessing, especially the opposition. If Derrick were to suit up for a must win game, the energy generated by the crowd for that moment would be a huge boost for the bulls, especially at home, it would be deafening

    • tampajoey - May 7, 2013 at 6:29 PM

      He was cleared by doctors over 2 months ago.

  20. drago2012 - May 7, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    I saw him last night going crazy with excitement when Nate hoisted a deep three!! I just think he is coming back when the series moves to Chicago. The scale has tipped toward the Bulls now!!! Bulls can win at home now!! I think Miami and LePuss are really scared now and they have been exposed. Jimmy was making life miserable for Qween Jane!!!

  21. deiong - May 7, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    but, fans it seems, are just are tired of hey the spot lights not on me, hey I can still possibly come back thunder stealing.

    how should fans take it? way back in late feb or early march, he said he would return as soon as he was able to dunk, then a few days later in pregame show offs, he’s dunking all over the place. every gets excited thinking he’s coming back. he then says he’s got hamstring issues now. so he wont play, and there’s also his brother who represents him, and in this day and age when people use there siblings to express there displeasure with the team they play with because they cant say it themselves. took a huge hit on him. then we learn that he is supposedly dominating his teammates in practices, and then also leaked reports that publicly the other bulls support him but privately there are a lot of them themselves wondering why he cant be out there..

    i think its past the point where he should come back. there is no point in it. the bulls have something special without him. just shut him down officially and let the bulls get down to business. gotta give credit to the rest of the bulls, that they can still play so well, even with all the other injuries and stuff going on, and all this garbage surrounding the rose situation.

    but then part of me wonders if this whole other hoopla give them the needed boost to go out and defeat Stern :)

    • philtration - May 7, 2013 at 9:35 PM

      At the time he said that he can’t move to his left and he cannot defend anyone going in that direction.
      Dunking had nothing to do with it and dunking in practice is NOT the same as playing in a real NBA game.

      Too many people believe that their XBOX or Playstation is the real world.

  22. pistolpete0903 - May 7, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    Have a feeling that the Bulls will play in Rose for Game 3/4 in front of their home crowd.
    Probably for 15-20 minutes; just to give an emotional lift.

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