In his prime with the Chicago Bulls, Noah built a reputation as one of the league’s best defenders and most ferocious competitors.
“What an illustrious career for Joakim, starting with two national titles at the University of Florida, to becoming an NBA Defensive Player of the Year and ultimately evolving into one of the most passionate, spirited players to ever come through our sport,” Duffy told ESPN on Tuesday night. “It’s been my honor to represent Joakim through his journey.”
Noah, the son of former French Open tennis champ Yannick Noah, helped lead the Florida Gators to consecutive national championships before he was selected ninth overall by the Chicago Bulls in 2007.
Noah’s finest years were with the Bulls as one of the league’s best and most versatile defenders. A two-time All-Star (2013 and 2014), Noah became a three-time All-Defensive performer and the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2013-14. In earning All-NBA first-team honors that season, Noah averaged 12.6 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals.
Noah — who averaged 8.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks over his career — had stops with the New York Knicks, Memphis Grizzlies and Clippers through his 13 seasons. Injuries cost him a multitude of games on the back end of his career, limiting him to only 129 games since the 2015-16 season. After signing a four-year, $72 million free-agent deal with the Knicks in 2016, Noah played a total of 53 games over two seasons.
Noah, 35, suffered a freak injury in September of 2019 when he dropped a steel ice tub and cut his Achilles tendon. He signed a 10-day contract with the Clippers prior to the pandemic shutdown and played five games during the rest of the season.
ESPN’s NBA reporter Ohm Youngmisuk contributed to this report.