Today’s post is brought to you by the letter K, for Karma…and is dedicated to Filomena Tobias…the classless NBA fan (shown below) who found it appropriate to give Joakim Noah the one-finger salute as he was ejected from a game.
No matter your opinion of the antics associated with Joakim Noah throughout his NBA career, he has proven his value as the 6′ 11″ backbone of the NBA’s second-best defense in terms of defensive efficiency. He is ranked No. 1 in Defensive Rating at 95.8 and Defensive Win Shares with 6.6. In other words, he’s damn good.
I always knew he’d become a concrete contributor to the league. I remember seven years ago when we first met, it was my birthday actually, and he was just a wide-eyed, wild-haired, caveman-esque kid at summer league in Orlando, carrying his contract around in that damn backpack…literally IN the backpack.
He had this vibe about him that was contagious. Some sort of energy that not even I can describe. Maybe it was because we both went to UF…or the way he carried a perfect blend of awkwardness and confidence…or maybe because when you recognize a certain kind of passion in someone, it’s hard to forget. I always have and always will stand in his defense, as we all know how quick the universe is to judge, and I also know he is, at the root of it all, a good human.
Fast forward and not only has he made his mark on the NBA (wild hair still in tact), but he is finally being recognized for his hard work and dedication to a sport that he quite literally has had an indescribable love affair with since before he towered over pretty much everyone within reach.
Knowing that he now joins Michael Jordan (from 1988) as the only Bulls in franchise history to receive the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award…love him or hate him, you can’t deny his talent. Unlike other people, I appreciate his unwavering drive, filter-free retorts to the media and his unapologetic eccentric lifestyle.
At 29 years old, he averaged 12.6 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals this season for Chicago. So congrats to you, my friend, on an honor well-deserved….and for gaining the ultimate one-finger salute to all of your critics and haters who have so eagerly awaited your downfall.