Joakim Noah Suspended 20 Games by NBA for Drug Violation

Memphis Grizzlies v New York Knicks
 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Joakim Noah’s recovery time from knee surgery just got an involuntary extension. The Knicks center has been suspended for 20 games for violating the league’s anti-drug policy, the NBA announced today.

Noah tested positive for using over the counter supplements. The substance is known as SARMs, and per the US Anti-Dopy Agency is a drug that has “anabolic agents” without the side effects of traditional steroid use.

Noah, who is in the first year of a four-year, $72 million dollar contract with the Knicks, has not played a game since February 4 and was expected to miss the rest of the season due to left knee surgery. The suspension will begin once Noah is medically cleared to play at the beginning of next season.

Noah is averaging 5 points and 8 rebounds over 46 games this year.

What an embarrassment. However, I’m not convinced this is actually a bad thing. Anything that gets Willy Hernangomez more minutes and time to get acclimated as our starting center is a blessing. As for Noah, we’re stuck with him for three more years. No GM that wants to remain employed will take that contract, so we can only hope Noah gets himself together enough to contribute something.





Watch Joakim Noah Posterize Giannis Antetokoumnpo


There were many thrilling moments Friday night as the Knicks stormed back from an 18-point deficit to defeat the Bucks. One of the best was seeing Joakim Noah go strong to the hoop with a two-handed slam over future All-Star Giannis Antetokoumnpo. A little revenge for his game-winner on us Wednesday night.

[Video] Watch the Chicago Bulls Tribute to Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah


During halftime of the Knicks’s Friday victory in Chicago, the Bulls put together a classy video tribute to Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. It was well-deserved for two players that gave so much to that organization.



Triumphant Homecoming: Rose and Noah Lead Team Effort Win in Chicago


CHICAGO — It was an emotional return for Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, but the former Bulls channeled it into efficient teamwork and ball control to score a much-needed Knicks win at the United Center. Coming off two sub-par losses to Detroit and Houston, New York saw every starter hit double figures and gave fans their first true glimpse of this team’s potential.

RED-HOT START: The Knicks came out with strong ball movement and sharp-shooting from Courtney Lee, who went 5/5 (10 points) in the first as the Knicks jumped out to a 16-point lead. Bulls were powered by Dwyane Wade’s (35 points, 10 rebounds) abnormally hot three-point shooting and offensive rebounding from Taj Gibson. Still, the Knicks held a 32-23 lead after 12 minutes for their best quarter of basketball since the Memphis game.

A SCARE AND RIGHTING THE SHIP: The Knicks’s bench unit couldn’t manage to score even with KP in the lineup. Wade continued hitting threes and Jimmy Butler got to the line, allowing Chicago to take the lead in the final minutes. Although New York was outscored 34-24, a breathtaking half-court lay-up drive from Rose with 4.7 seconds left narrowed the deficit to 56-57 at the half.

PORZINGIS FEASTS: It says something about this game that KP had 27 points and still seemed low-key. He was doing it all over court from threes to running the floor for dunks. The ball moved well and allowed him to exploit mismatches. He got into foul trouble and left the game with around 7 minutes left, but his damage had been done. As Coach Hornacek stated, good things happen when the team gets him involved early. This was an excellent bounce back from the previous game where he had no field goals.

ROSE AND NOAH CLOSE THE SHOW: The Knicks held an 87-84 lead going into the fourth against a Bulls team that refused to go away. KP’s hot shooting sparked a 10-0 run, but his foul departure allowed the Bulls back in it due to Melo’s presence stagnating the ball movement. Three straight bad possessions caused an 8-0 Bulls run that closed the Knicks lead to 98-91.

From there, Rose and Noah caused havoc. Their two-man game got Noah several lay-ups. Rose would nail a tough and-1 lay-up with the shot clock expiring to push the lead to 111-102. And on the next play, a drive and kick for a Melo three would ice the game.

Rose would finish with 15 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds. Noah was equally strong in outplaying Robin Lopez with 16 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.

STARTERS STRONG, BUT BENCH STILL WORRISOME: The starting five put in work. Aside from those already mentioned, Melo added 25 points and Lee 17. But our bench could only manage 17 points. Horacek will have to continue being creative with the lineups to prevent scoring droughts.

The Knicks are back home on Sunday to face the Jazz.

[Video] Opening Night Statement: Knicks’ Team Effort Holds Off Grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies v New York Knicks
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Late pass on this review, but before tonight’s game against Detroit I had to drop some thoughts on our impressive 111-104 home opener win over the Grizzlies last weekend. After being embarrassed by Cleveland on national TV, I was interested to see how our squad would perform. Although it’s early, the mentality I saw on the court leads me to say with confidence this might be our most mentally strong team since the late 90s.

BLEW THE LEAD, BUT NEVER GAVE IT UP: Despite building a near 20-point lead in the first half, the Grizzlies slowly got themselves back in it by making it a plodding, half-court game where Marc Gasol and others feasted at the foul line. Like Knicks teams in recent years, there was a lot of complaining to the refs (particularly Melo, who earned himself a technical). But unlike our former teams, we held firm and put the game away in the fourth. Rose’s playmaking combined with Noah’s interior defense proved to be the difference maker in the fourth.

KP and Melo = 41 POINTS: We waited all last season for these two to put up big numbers simultaneously. We got it with Porzingis dropping 21 points on an efficient 7/11, and Melo going for 20 despite getting mauled in the paint and refs swallowing their whistles. That is the main reason for his 5/15 field goal performance, but Melo made up for it by going 9/12 in free throws.

NOAH IS OUR HEART AND SOUL: This man was fired up from the opening tip and his energy proved contagious. His post presence was a big factor in holding Gasol to 5/15 from the field, and he cooled off a heating up Zack Randolph in the fourth. His stat sheet (6 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists) shows the versatility Noah brought. His passing was crucial in getting others like Courtney Lee (16 points) off to quick starts.

Barring no serious injuries, it’s hard for me to imagine this team not making the playoffs.

[Photo] Welcome Home – Joakim Noah Confirms Knicks Deal on IG


Joakim Noah is coming home. The New York native and career Chicago Bull confirmed his new deal with the New York Knicks by posting the above picture on Instagram.

Noah’s contract is a four year deal totaling $70-72 million.

Noah had his best year in 2014 when he won Defensive Player of the Year, averaging 13 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists. Noah is coming off an injury plagued 2016 season where he played 29 games and struggled to find a role under new Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg. He posted a career low scoring average (4 points).

Yesterday, I was very leering on the Knicks paying $18 million a year for Noah, especially with the horrible season he had last year. But today (July 1), I had a chance to look at the ridiculous deals a lot of players have gotten already in this free agency process. From that perspective, Noah’s deal isn’t that bad at all. Now, this could certainly be a disaster if Noah can’t stay healthy. But if he’s reinvigorated in his hometown, his passing and defense paired with Porzingis and Melo’s scoring gives us a tremendous frontcourt presence.


[Video] For Pride Only: Knicks 100, Bulls 89


The was an overall somber mode last night at MSG with the Knicks playing their first game since being bounced from playoff contention. It was also the first time in Melo’s career that he hasn’t led his team to the playoffs. So how did the team respond? It’s not a big consolation prize, but New York put together one of their better defensive efforts of the season, holding the Bulls to 39% shooting and getting several emphatic stops in the 4th quarter to seal a 100-89 victory.

Melo, still nursing a bum right shoulder, managed to be very productive in his limited 28 minutes, notching 17 points and 3 assists. He had a lot of help tonight with three additional starters hitting double figure scoring, Iman Shumpert (10 points, 7 rebounds) providing strong perimter defense, and Tim Hardaway Jr. (20 points) serving as a 4th quarter closer by hitting four key free throws and a three-pointer to hold off a late Bulls run.

To contend with Chicago’s frontline, Coach Woodson wisely gave Cole Aldrich 18 minutes. The big man didn’t disappoint with 6 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks. It makes you wonder how much of a difference he could have been if Woody has played him more after Kenyon Martin went down.

The Knicks are off to the Barclays Center to face the Nets on Tuesday night.

Techs Galore! Ejections and Bad Play Define Knicks Home Loss to Bulls 110-106


It would be my luck that the first Knicks home game I attend this season be one of the team’s worst performances. To say the Knicks were out of sync would be an understatement — the shooting, defense and mental focus were all beyond horrific. And yet, the circus that was the fourth quarter made the game quite entertaining even when it became apparent that NY had dug a hole too big to climb out of.


The Bricks Just Kept Coming: The Knicks shooting in this game was painful. For most of the contest, the Knicks were shooting an embarrassing 33% from the field and under 25% from three-point range. The Bulls lived up to their league-leading defense but it wasn’t just that. The Knicks got many wide open shots and failed to convert. Our normally sharp-shooting Steve Novak was the worst in logging over 30 minutes and scoring 0 on just three shot attempts. We had three guys score over 20 with none of them being efficient getting there. Raymond Felton (21 points) was 9-21 and couldn’t nail a jumper to save his life. JR Smith (26 points) was 9-20 and Carmelo Anthony (29 points), who was repeatedly turned back  at the rim and frustrated, went 10-25 before being ejected.

Remember when Ronnie Brewer was money earlier this season with that corner three? Well he must have returned to Earth because he couldn’t buy a basket, going 0-4 and causing us fans to groan with every brick. To add insult to injury, he even bricked a free throw.


The Whining Returns: During the game, which had the lead at times ballooning over 20 points, the Knicks got more annoyed with every missed bucket and with the physical defense the Bulls were putting on them. At times they had a point — the Bulls were allowed to rough Melo up in the paint while any contact placed on Loul Deng on the opposite end resulted in an immediate foul call. Nonetheless, you have to adjust to the game and Knicks failed miserably doing that.

The defense was very shoddy in getting to the Bulls shooters and gave up plenty momentum-killing three-pointers. Despite all that, the team was still 19-7 coming into tonight and we in the crowd (well most of us) just couldn’t find it in ourselves to boo them.

Melo got tossed but not before getting a standing ovation. Woodson had seen enough and did everything could (including telling the ref “fuck you”) so get an early trip to the locker room, which was granted. By that point the tension was heavy. Chandler and Noah got tangled up and did a little shoving, resulting in both guys being tossed (Chandler on his first technical and Noah had a previous one for being mouthy with the refs). Noah’s post-game comments summed up our mind state during that testy second half.

I don’t think they are used to being down that much. If they were up 20 points, I don’t think they would have been that frustrated.


These Refs Suck!: That was the chant we took up last night and it was very appropriate. There were nine technicals in total (6 Knicks, 3 Bulls), resulting from neither team respecting the official calls. And the more technicals resulted in less and less respect from both squads. Several times during the game you could see the refs huddled up trying to figure out how to get matters back under control.

Melo’s second technical was especially suspect (all he did from my seat was stare at the official). The league agreed, as the second tech issued by Olandis Poole has been rescinded. Who knows what could have happened if he stayed in the game. Another ref, John Goble, has issued eight technicals on the Knicks this year, including tossing Rasheed Wallace for his “Ball Don’t Lie!” phrase. And just so Knicks fans can keep track of these guys for future reference, the last ref rounding out last night’s 3 Stooges trio is named Zach Zabra.

If any positive can come out of last night is that it appears the league is closely reviewing the refs and how their quick whistles exacerbated the problems from last night. Expect the Knicks to get some favorable calls on Sunday against the Wolves and hopefully none of these refs will be suited up.

And even with the disappointing Knicks performance, spending time with Mom made it all worthwhile.